EP0611144B1 - Voltage generating circuit, and common electrode drive circuit, signal line drive circuit and gray-scale voltage generating circuit for display devices - Google Patents

Voltage generating circuit, and common electrode drive circuit, signal line drive circuit and gray-scale voltage generating circuit for display devices Download PDF

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Publication number
EP0611144B1
EP0611144B1 EP94300941A EP94300941A EP0611144B1 EP 0611144 B1 EP0611144 B1 EP 0611144B1 EP 94300941 A EP94300941 A EP 94300941A EP 94300941 A EP94300941 A EP 94300941A EP 0611144 B1 EP0611144 B1 EP 0611144B1
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European Patent Office
Prior art keywords
voltage
gray
power supply
output
circuit
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Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
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EP94300941A
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German (de)
French (fr)
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EP0611144A3 (en
EP0611144A2 (en
Inventor
Tadatsugu Nishitani
Hisao Okada
Takeshi Takarada
Yuji Yamamoto
Toshihiro Yanagi
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Sharp Corp
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Sharp Corp
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Priority to JP5021532A priority Critical patent/JPH06237162A/en
Priority to JP5021533A priority patent/JP3029940B2/en
Priority to JP21532/93 priority
Priority to JP21533/93 priority
Priority to JP2153293 priority
Priority to JP2153393 priority
Priority to JP16812093A priority patent/JP2653625B2/en
Priority to JP168120/93 priority
Priority to JP16812093 priority
Priority to JP19641793A priority patent/JP2965822B2/en
Priority to JP196417/93 priority
Priority to JP19641793 priority
Priority to JP19863593 priority
Priority to JP198635/93 priority
Priority to JP5198635A priority patent/JP2909357B2/en
Priority to JP26512093 priority
Priority to JP265120/93 priority
Priority to JP05265120A priority patent/JP3121714B2/en
Priority to JP28258093 priority
Priority to JP28258093A priority patent/JP2849034B2/en
Priority to JP282580/93 priority
Application filed by Sharp Corp filed Critical Sharp Corp
Publication of EP0611144A2 publication Critical patent/EP0611144A2/en
Publication of EP0611144A3 publication Critical patent/EP0611144A3/en
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Publication of EP0611144B1 publication Critical patent/EP0611144B1/en
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    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N3/00Scanning details of television systems; Combination thereof with generation of supply voltages
    • H04N3/10Scanning details of television systems; Combination thereof with generation of supply voltages by means not exclusively optical-mechanical
    • H04N3/12Scanning details of television systems; Combination thereof with generation of supply voltages by means not exclusively optical-mechanical by switched stationary formation of lamps, photocells or light relays
    • H04N3/127Scanning details of television systems; Combination thereof with generation of supply voltages by means not exclusively optical-mechanical by switched stationary formation of lamps, photocells or light relays using liquid crystals
    • GPHYSICS
    • G09EDUCATION; CRYPTOGRAPHY; DISPLAY; ADVERTISING; SEALS
    • G09GARRANGEMENTS OR CIRCUITS FOR CONTROL OF INDICATING DEVICES USING STATIC MEANS TO PRESENT VARIABLE INFORMATION
    • G09G3/00Control arrangements or circuits, of interest only in connection with visual indicators other than cathode-ray tubes
    • G09G3/20Control arrangements or circuits, of interest only in connection with visual indicators other than cathode-ray tubes for presentation of an assembly of a number of characters, e.g. a page, by composing the assembly by combination of individual elements arranged in a matrix no fixed position being assigned to or needed to be assigned to the individual characters or partial characters
    • G09G3/34Control arrangements or circuits, of interest only in connection with visual indicators other than cathode-ray tubes for presentation of an assembly of a number of characters, e.g. a page, by composing the assembly by combination of individual elements arranged in a matrix no fixed position being assigned to or needed to be assigned to the individual characters or partial characters by control of light from an independent source
    • G09G3/36Control arrangements or circuits, of interest only in connection with visual indicators other than cathode-ray tubes for presentation of an assembly of a number of characters, e.g. a page, by composing the assembly by combination of individual elements arranged in a matrix no fixed position being assigned to or needed to be assigned to the individual characters or partial characters by control of light from an independent source using liquid crystals
    • G09G3/3611Control of matrices with row and column drivers
    • G09G3/3696Generation of voltages supplied to electrode drivers
    • GPHYSICS
    • G09EDUCATION; CRYPTOGRAPHY; DISPLAY; ADVERTISING; SEALS
    • G09GARRANGEMENTS OR CIRCUITS FOR CONTROL OF INDICATING DEVICES USING STATIC MEANS TO PRESENT VARIABLE INFORMATION
    • G09G2330/00Aspects of power supply; Aspects of display protection and defect management
    • G09G2330/02Details of power systems and of start or stop of display operation
    • G09G2330/021Power management, e.g. power saving
    • GPHYSICS
    • G09EDUCATION; CRYPTOGRAPHY; DISPLAY; ADVERTISING; SEALS
    • G09GARRANGEMENTS OR CIRCUITS FOR CONTROL OF INDICATING DEVICES USING STATIC MEANS TO PRESENT VARIABLE INFORMATION
    • G09G3/00Control arrangements or circuits, of interest only in connection with visual indicators other than cathode-ray tubes
    • G09G3/20Control arrangements or circuits, of interest only in connection with visual indicators other than cathode-ray tubes for presentation of an assembly of a number of characters, e.g. a page, by composing the assembly by combination of individual elements arranged in a matrix no fixed position being assigned to or needed to be assigned to the individual characters or partial characters
    • G09G3/2007Display of intermediate tones
    • G09G3/2011Display of intermediate tones by amplitude modulation
    • GPHYSICS
    • G09EDUCATION; CRYPTOGRAPHY; DISPLAY; ADVERTISING; SEALS
    • G09GARRANGEMENTS OR CIRCUITS FOR CONTROL OF INDICATING DEVICES USING STATIC MEANS TO PRESENT VARIABLE INFORMATION
    • G09G3/00Control arrangements or circuits, of interest only in connection with visual indicators other than cathode-ray tubes
    • G09G3/20Control arrangements or circuits, of interest only in connection with visual indicators other than cathode-ray tubes for presentation of an assembly of a number of characters, e.g. a page, by composing the assembly by combination of individual elements arranged in a matrix no fixed position being assigned to or needed to be assigned to the individual characters or partial characters
    • G09G3/2007Display of intermediate tones
    • G09G3/2014Display of intermediate tones by modulation of the duration of a single pulse during which the logic level remains constant
    • GPHYSICS
    • G09EDUCATION; CRYPTOGRAPHY; DISPLAY; ADVERTISING; SEALS
    • G09GARRANGEMENTS OR CIRCUITS FOR CONTROL OF INDICATING DEVICES USING STATIC MEANS TO PRESENT VARIABLE INFORMATION
    • G09G3/00Control arrangements or circuits, of interest only in connection with visual indicators other than cathode-ray tubes
    • G09G3/20Control arrangements or circuits, of interest only in connection with visual indicators other than cathode-ray tubes for presentation of an assembly of a number of characters, e.g. a page, by composing the assembly by combination of individual elements arranged in a matrix no fixed position being assigned to or needed to be assigned to the individual characters or partial characters
    • G09G3/34Control arrangements or circuits, of interest only in connection with visual indicators other than cathode-ray tubes for presentation of an assembly of a number of characters, e.g. a page, by composing the assembly by combination of individual elements arranged in a matrix no fixed position being assigned to or needed to be assigned to the individual characters or partial characters by control of light from an independent source
    • G09G3/36Control arrangements or circuits, of interest only in connection with visual indicators other than cathode-ray tubes for presentation of an assembly of a number of characters, e.g. a page, by composing the assembly by combination of individual elements arranged in a matrix no fixed position being assigned to or needed to be assigned to the individual characters or partial characters by control of light from an independent source using liquid crystals
    • G09G3/3611Control of matrices with row and column drivers
    • G09G3/3614Control of polarity reversal in general
    • GPHYSICS
    • G09EDUCATION; CRYPTOGRAPHY; DISPLAY; ADVERTISING; SEALS
    • G09GARRANGEMENTS OR CIRCUITS FOR CONTROL OF INDICATING DEVICES USING STATIC MEANS TO PRESENT VARIABLE INFORMATION
    • G09G3/00Control arrangements or circuits, of interest only in connection with visual indicators other than cathode-ray tubes
    • G09G3/20Control arrangements or circuits, of interest only in connection with visual indicators other than cathode-ray tubes for presentation of an assembly of a number of characters, e.g. a page, by composing the assembly by combination of individual elements arranged in a matrix no fixed position being assigned to or needed to be assigned to the individual characters or partial characters
    • G09G3/34Control arrangements or circuits, of interest only in connection with visual indicators other than cathode-ray tubes for presentation of an assembly of a number of characters, e.g. a page, by composing the assembly by combination of individual elements arranged in a matrix no fixed position being assigned to or needed to be assigned to the individual characters or partial characters by control of light from an independent source
    • G09G3/36Control arrangements or circuits, of interest only in connection with visual indicators other than cathode-ray tubes for presentation of an assembly of a number of characters, e.g. a page, by composing the assembly by combination of individual elements arranged in a matrix no fixed position being assigned to or needed to be assigned to the individual characters or partial characters by control of light from an independent source using liquid crystals
    • G09G3/3611Control of matrices with row and column drivers
    • G09G3/3648Control of matrices with row and column drivers using an active matrix
    • G09G3/3655Details of drivers for counter electrodes, e.g. common electrodes for pixel capacitors or supplementary storage capacitors

Description

  • The present invention relates to a voltage generating (output) circuit used as a drive source of a device for directly or indirectly driving a capacitive load; a common electrode drive circuit of a display device provided with the voltage generating circuit, for driving a common electrode in a display device; and a signal line drive circuit and a gray-scale (gradation) voltage generating circuit of a display device provided with the voltage generating circuit, for driving the signal lines in a display device.
  • An active matrix liquid crystal display device of Figure 48 represents an example of the above-mentioned display device. This liquid crystal display device includes liquid crystal which is a display medium between two substrates 100 and 101 facing each other. Pixel electrodes 103 (P(i, j)) are arranged in a matrix on the liquid crystal side of the substrate 100, and signal lines (data lines or source lines) 104 (S(1), S(2), ..., S(i), ..., S(N)) and scanning lines (gate lines) 105 (G(1), G(2), ..., G(j), ..., G(M)) are provided at the periphery of each pixel electrode 103 so as to cross each other. A thin film transistor (TFT) 102 (T(i, j)) is provided as a switching element in the vicinity of each crossing portion of the signal lines 104 and the scanning lines 105. The TFT 102 is connected to the signal line 104, the scanning line 105, and the pixel electrode 103 so as to drive the pixel electrode 103.
  • A common electrode 101a is provided on the liquid crystal side of the other substrate 101. A capacitance of the liquid crystal contributing to a display is formed between the common electrode 101a and the pixel electrodes 103.
  • A source driver (signal line drive circuit) 200 is connected to the signal lines 104, and a gate driver 300 is connected to the scanning lines 105. The source driver 200 supplies a voltage to the signal lines 104; in the example shown in Figure 48, a digital source driver to which a video signal is applied in a digital form is used. The source driver 200 and the gate driver 300 are provided with an output signal from a control circuit 600. The control circuit 600 supplies a control signal POL to a gray-scale voltage generating circuit 400 and a common electrode drive circuit 500. The gray-scale voltage generating circuit 400 outputs gray-scale voltages v 0 , v 1 , v 2 , and v 3 to the source driver 200, and the common electrode drive circuit 500 outputs a common electrode voltage v com to the common electrode 101a.
  • Hereinafter, the gray-scale voltage generating circuit 400 and the common electrode drive circuit 500 provided in the display device thus constructed will be as described. Figure 49 shows an example of a drive circuit as proposed in "A driving circuit for a display device", Japanese Laid-Open Patent Publication No. 5-53534 by H. Okada. This drive circuit works as the gray-scale voltage generating circuit 400 as well as the common electrode drive circuit 500. The drive circuit is provided with an operational amplifier OP c for generating the common electrode voltage v com , and operational amplifiers OP 0 to OP 3 for generating the gray-scale voltages v 0 to v 3 . Each inversion input terminal of the operational amplifiers OP c , OP 0 , and OP 1 is provided with the control signal POL. The control signal POL is inverted by an inverter INV and then input to each inversion input terminal of the operational amplifiers OP 2 and OP 3 . Each non-inversion input terminal of the operational amplifiers OP c and OP 0 to OP 3 is provided with an output from resistance type potential dividers PD com and PD 0 to PD 3 , respectively. The resistance dividers PD com and PD 0 to PD 3 respectively consist of two fixed resistors R c1 and R c2 , R 01 and R 02 , R 11 and R 12 , R 21 and R 22 , and R 31 and R 32 . One terminal of each of the resistors R c1 , R 01 , R 11 , R 21 , and R 31 is connected to a power supply V dd at a positive electric potential; and each of the other terminals of the resistors R c2 , R 02 , R 12 , R 22 , and R 32 is connected to a power supply Vss at a ground electric potential.
  • Figure 50A shows an example of an output waveform of the above-mentioned drive circuit. When the control signal POL is at a high level, the common electrode voltage v com and the gray-scale voltages v 0 to v 3 are output so that a voltage applied to a pixel has a positive polarity with respect to the common electrode (a time period in this state is referred to as "positive time period"). When the control signal POL is at a low level, the common electrode voltage v com and the gray-scale voltages v 0 to v 3 are output so that a voltage applied to a pixel has a negative polarity with respect to the common electrode (a time period in this state is referred to as "negative time period"). In either time period, the absolute value of an electric potential difference between the common electrode and the pixel electrode is set to be higher in the same order of the data value 0 to 3 (i.e., |v 0 - v com | < |v 1 - v com | < |v 2 - v com | < |v 3 - v com |).
  • The above relation represents a condition for driving a liquid crystal display body in a normally black mode. The above relation may be reversed when a liquid crystal display body is driven in a normally white mode. Figure 50B shows an output in the case where the liquid crystal display body is driven in a normally white mode. It is not related to the present invention in which mode the liquid crystal display body is driven; therefore, in the following examples, either case (i.e., a normally black mode or a normally white mode) will be described. Unless otherwise stated, the level of a voltage refers to that in a positive time period. Figures 50A and 50B show waveforms in a line inversion in which the polarity of a voltage applied to a pixel is inverted per horizontal line (transverse line or row line).
  • The common electrode voltage v com and gray-scale voltages v 0 to v 3 oscillate in synchronization with the control signal POL based on a reference voltage v M (i.e., a voltage applied to each non-inversion input terminal) are output from the operational amplifiers OP c and OP 0 to OP 3 by appropriately setting the fixed resistors R 01 , R 02 , R 11 , R 12 , R 21 , R 22 , R 31 , and R 32 . As is understood from Figure 50A, the voltages v com , v 0 , and v 1 have a phase opposite to that of the voltages v 2 and v 3 . The amplitude of these voltages are determined in terms of an amplification ratio of the operational amplifiers OP c and OP 0 to OP 3 .
  • Figure 51 shows the gray-scale voltages v 0 to v 3 , based on the common electrode voltage v com which is applied to the common electrode 101a. As is understood from Figure 51, when a certain pixel is selected by the gate driver 300 through the scanning lines 105, the pixel electrode 103 is charged with an output (i.e., one of the gray-scale voltages v 0 to v 3 ) from the source driver 200 connected to the selected pixel, and the difference between the electric potential at the pixel electrode 103 and that of the common electrode 101a facing the pixel electrode 103 with the liquid crystal layer sandwiched therebetween.
  • As described above, in the case where the common electrode 101a is driven with an A.C. voltage, there is an advantage that the amplitude of a voltage to be applied to a signal line for obtaining a predetermined voltage between the pixel electrode 103 and the common electrode 101a can be decreased and a working voltage for the source driver 200 can be decreased (see Japanese Laid-Open Patent Publication No. 3-177890).
  • The gray-scale voltages v 0 to v 3 are supplied to the source driver 200 which is a signal line drive circuit.
  • Figure 52 shows a circuit diagram showing the structure of the source driver 200. Video signal data is composed of two bits. That is, the video signal data has four values (0 to 3) and either of the gray-scale voltages v 0 to v 3 supplied from the gray-scale voltage generating circuit 400 shown in Figure 48 is selected to be output in accordance with the respective value of the video signal data.
  • Figure 53 shows a circuit diagram showing a circuit portion corresponding to the (i)th output. This circuit includes D-type flip-flops (sampling flip-flops) M SMP respectively for video signal data D 0 and D 1 , flip-flops (holding flip-flops) M H respectively for the video signal data D 0 and D 1 , a decoder DEC, analog switches ASW 0 to ASW 3 respectively provided between four kinds of power supplies V 0 to V 3 outputting gray-scale voltages v 0 to v 3 , and a signal line S(i) ((i)th signal line 104). For sampling digital video signal data, various kinds of flip-flops other than D-type flip-flips can be used.
  • The operation of the source driver 200 with the above-mentioned structure will be described.
  • The two-bit video signal data (D 0 , D 1 ) is taken in the sampling flip-flops M SMP at the time when a sampling pulse T SMPi corresponding to the (i)th signal line S(i) rises and held therein. When the sampling for one horizontal period is completed, an output pulse O E is given to the holding flip-flops M H and the video signal D 0 , D 1 held in the sampling flip-flops M SMP are taken in the holding flip-flops M H to be output to the decoder DEC. The decoder DEC decodes the video signal data (D 0 , D 1 ) and turns on one of the analog switches ASW 0 to ASW 3 in accordance with the values (0 to 3) of the video signal data (D 0 , D 1 ), whereby one of the four gray-scale voltages v 0 to v 3 is output to the signal line S(i).
  • Figure 54 shows a liquid crystal display device which receives video signal data composed of three bits (D 0 , D 1 , D 2 ). Figure 55 partially shows a circuit corresponding to the signal line S(i) of the source driver 210 of Figure 54. More specifically, the source driver 210 has this structure as many as the signal lines 104 of a display panel (i.e., the number of this structure owned by the source driver 210 is identical with that of the signal lines 104 of a display panel). In this case, the video signal data has 8 values (0 to 7), and the signal voltage given to each pixel is either of eight levels of gray-scale voltages v 0 to v 7 output from gray-scale power supplies V 0 to V 7 of the gray-scale voltage generating circuit 410.
  • The source driver 210 includes first-stage D-type flip-flops M SMP used for sampling data, second-stage D-type flip-flops M H for holding data, a decoder DEC, and a plurality of analog switches ASW 0 to ASW 7 respectively provided between the eight external power supplies V 0 to V 7 and the signal line S(i). The first-stage D-type flip-flops M SMP and the second-stage D-type flip-flops M H are provided for each bit (D 0 , D 1 , V 2 ). Eight kinds of gray-scale voltages v 0 to v 7 from the gray-scale voltage generating circuit 410 and control signals S 0 to S 7 from the decoder DEC are respectively input to the analog switches ASW 0 to ASW 7 . The respective analog switches ASW 0 to ASW 7 are turned on to output the gray-scale voltages v 0 to v 7 in accordance with the levels of the control signals S 0 to S 7 .
  • In the case where the value of the video signal data is 3 in the source driver 210, the analog switch ASW 3 turns a conductive state, and the gray-scale voltage v 3 is output. In this case, the gray-scale voltage v 3 drives the signal line S(i) through the analog switch ASW 3 . The gray-scale voltage generating circuit 410 is provided separately from the source driver 210 constituting a drive circuit; thus, the gray-scale voltages v 0 to v 7 are input to a drive circuit for each signal line S(i). The reason for this is that the number of the actual drive circuits is identical with that of the signal lines 104. For example, the number of the signal lines 104 is 1920 in the case of the VGA liquid crystal display device. There is a possibility that the gray-scale voltage generating circuit 410 drives all of the signal lines 104 simultaneously. In such a case, it is difficult to produce the gray-scale voltage generating circuit 410, which is capable of sufficiently supplying an electric current required for driving all of the signal lines 104 simultaneously, with high integration on the chip identical with that of the source driver 210.
  • In addition, the source driver 210 has problems such as a complicated structure and a large size. The reason for this is as follows: In the case where the digital video signal is 4 bit, 16 kinds of gray-scale voltages are required; as the video signal increases to 6 bit, 8 bit, etc., the number of gray-scale voltages required increases to 64, 256, etc. That is to say, the gray-scale voltages whose number is the same as that of the gray scales are required. Because of this, the structure of the power supply circuit for forming such a number of gray-scale voltages becomes complicated and is enlarged, and moreover, the connecting line between the voltage generating circuit and the analog switches becomes complicated.
  • In the above-mentioned situation, conventionally, the source driver 210 is only used for a 3-bit or 4-bit video signal. Thus, when a video signal is composed of a large number of bits, a drive circuit for performing a gray-scale display has been difficult to construct.
  • Considering the above, the inventors of the present invention achieved a method for interpolating a gray scale between a plurality of gray-scale voltages given from outside and have filed applications (Japanese Patent Application No. 4-129164 and Japanese Laid-open Patent Publication Nos- 4-136983, 4-140787 and 5-53534).
  • Figure 24 shows a liquid crystal display device 220 having a basic structure of the present invention, based on an oscillating voltage driving method proposed in Japanese Laid-open Patent Publication No. 5-53534. Figure 25 is a block diagram corresponding to the signal line S(i) of the source driver of Figure 24 per output. The following description refers to Figures 24 to 27 to which examples of the present invention (described later) will also refer to.
  • The case where video signal data is composed of 3 bits (D 0 , D 1 , D 2 ) will be described. More specifically, the video signal data has 8 values (i.e., 0 to 7), and a signal voltage to be applied to each pixel is either one of external gray-scale voltages v 0 , v 2 , v 5 , and v 7 supplied from the gray-scale power supplies V 0 to V 7 of a gray-scale voltage generating circuit 420, or either one of or a plurality of external gray-scale voltages between any two of the external gray-scale voltages v 0 , v 2 , v 5 , and v 7 .
  • A source driver 220 is provided for each bit (D 0 , D 1 , D 2 ) of the video signal data. The source driver 220 includes first-stage D-type flip-flops M SMP for sampling, second-stage D-type flip-flops M H for holding, a selection control circuit SCOL, and analog switches ASW 0 to ASW 7 provided between the external gray-scale voltage power supplies V 0 to V 7 and a signal line S(i). The external gray-scale voltages v 0 , v 2 , v 5 , and v 7 and control signals S 0 , S 2 , S 5 , and S 7 from the selection control circuit SCOL are input to the analog switches ASW 0 , ASW 2 , ASW 5 , and ASW 7 . Further, a signal t 3 having a predetermined duty ratio is supplied to the selection control circuit SCOL.
  • The source driver 220 shown in Figures 24 and 25 has the same effects as those of the source driver 210 shown in Figures 54 and 55 in terms of the realization of an 8-gray-scale display. In the source driver of Figure 25, in order to realize the 8-gray-scale display, the number of external gray-scale power supplies is reduced to four (i.e., half of the conventional example shown in Figure 55). In the source driver 220, the outputs from the gray-scale voltage power supplies V 1 , V 3 , V 4 , and V 6 are formed by the above-mentioned oscillating voltage driving method.
  • Table 1 shows the relation between the video signal data input to the source driver 3 and the gray-scale voltage obtained from the source driver 3. d2 d1 d0 Output S(i)
    (Figure 55)
    Output S(i)
    (Figure 25)
    0 0 0 V0 V0 0 0 1 V1 V0+2V2 / 3 0 1 0 V2 V2 0 1 1 V3 2V2+V5 / 3 1 0 0 V4 V2+V5 / 3 1 0 1 V5 V5 1 1 0 V6 2V5+V7 / 3 1 1 1 V7 V7
  • When the value of the video signal data is either of 1, 2, 5, or 7, one of the external gray-scale voltages v 0 to v 7 input from outside is output to the signal line S(i). When the value of the video signal data is other than 1, 2, 5, and 7, an oscillating voltage oscillating between any two external gray-scale voltages v 0 to v 7 are output to the signal line S(i). Thus, an 8-gray-scale display can be obtained from 4 external gray-scale voltages.
  • Hereinafter, the oscillating voltage driving method will be described.
  • The output waveform corresponding to the external gray-scale voltage v 1 is shown in (1) of Figure 26, and the output waveform corresponding to the external gray-scale voltages v 0 and v 2 are shown in (2) of Figure 26. For example, an oscillating voltage oscillating a plurality of times between the external gray-scale voltages v 0 and v 2 during one output period (e.g., one horizontal scanning period) is output. The resistance and capacitance of wirings (i.e., signal line) between the source driver 220 and pixels forming a display panel constitutes a low pass filter (LPF), as shown in Figure 56. The oscillating voltage passes through the LPF, whereby the gray-scale voltage v 1 is applied to a pixel as an average value of the oscillating voltage.
  • Figure 27 shows the waveform of the external gray-scale voltages v 0 and v 7 together with a common electrode signal v com . Figure 27 shows the waveforms in the case of line inversion in which the polarity of the voltage is inverted per horizontal scanning period. Hereinafter, the case of the line inversion will be described.
  • As is understood from Figure 27, the external gray-scale voltage v 0 has a polarity opposite to that of the common electrode signal v com , and the external gray-scale voltage v 0 and the common electrode signal v com have rectangular waveforms which are alternately inverted at an identical point. In the case where the video signal data is 0, the capacitance of the liquid crystal layer of each pixel and the like is charged with a voltage between the gray-scale voltage v 0 and the common electrode signal v com .
  • As described above, the signal line 104 of the display panel is charged and discharged between a positive electric potential and a negative electric potential each time the outputs of the common electrode drive power supply 500 and the gray-scale generating circuit 420 have their polarity inverted. Figure 56 shows an equivalent circuit in the case where the signal line 104 is considered as a load. In this equivalent circuit, an equivalent resistor R s of the signal line 104 and an equivalent capacitance C s thereof are connected in series. In a practical liquid crystal display device, the number of the signal lines 104 are 1920 (640 x 3), for example, in a display panel with a VGA specification, and the gray-scale power supplies are in some cases required to drive a load 1920 times that of the circuit shown in Figure 56.
  • Hereinafter, a peak electric current flowing when the polarity of the gray-scale voltage is inverted will be considered.
  • Assuming that the resistance of the equivalent resistor R s of the signal line 104 is 50 KΩ and the maximum electric potential difference between the positive state and the negative state in the common electrode 101a is 10 V, the maximum peak electric current is 10/50 KΩ x 1920 = 384 mA. Conventionally, the gray-scale power supply is required to have an ability of charging the maximum capacity of an electric current; therefore the gray-scale power supply may have a structure as shown in Figure 57.
  • This circuit includes an operational amplifier OP and a complementary circuit (electric current amplifier) BUF. The operational amplifier OP is provided with a predetermined voltage and a control voltage POL. The output terminal of the operational amplifier OP is connected the complementary circuit BUF consisting of transistors Q 1 and Q 2 . When an output voltage V out from the complementary circuit BUF is fed back to the operational amplifier OP, the operational amplifier OP performs an inversion amplification. In the circuit of Figure 57, the operational amplifier OP uses a slewing rate and an electric current capacity as large as possible.
  • The above-mentioned art causes the increase in cost. In addition, since the complementary circuit BUF (transistors Q 1 and Q 2 ) itself consumes an electric power, the consumption of electric current is increased. The increase in the consumption of electric current means an increase in electric current which is not required for driving the display panel.
  • There is no substantial difference between the case where the circuit shown in Figure 57 is used as the common electrode drive circuit and the case where the circuit shown in Figure 57 is used for each gray-scale voltage generating element of the gray-scale voltage generating circuit. However, in the case where the circuit shown in Figure 57 is used for each gray-scale voltage generating element, the output voltage will have an amplitude and a center voltage corresponding to the respective data and will have the same phase with respect to the control voltage POL.
  • Further, there is another problem. That is, in the conventional gray-scale voltage generating device, when the signal line drive circuit (source driver) selects either of the gray-scale voltages v 0 to v 3 , a load is rapidly fluctuated at the time of switching the polarity of the output of the gray-scale voltage generating circuit. In the case where the oscillating voltage driving method is applied to the signal line drive circuit, the load fluctuation is larger and the change speed thereof is higher than the case where a gray-scale voltage is merely selected.
  • Such a load fluctuation causes the fluctuation of the output voltage. Figure 58 shows an example of an output waveform of a certain voltage level of the gray-scale voltage generating circuit, in the case where the oscillating voltage driving method is applied to the signal line drive circuit. As shown in this figure, since the voltage having the output waveform of the gray-scale voltage generating circuit is fluctuated, the voltage to be charged to a pixel is not uniform, resulting in the deterioration of display quality.
  • In order to solve the above-mentioned problems, it is considered that a capacitor be provided between the output terminal of the gray-scale voltage generating circuit and the gray-scale voltage input terminal of the signal line drive circuit, thereby absorbing and supplying a charge in accordance with the voltage fluctuation. However, in this case, it has been difficult to use a capacitor with a sufficient capacitance. The reasons for this are as follows:
  • When the output terminal of the gray-scale voltage generating circuit is connected to the capacitor, the capacitor itself becomes a load on the gray-scale voltage generating circuit performing an A.C. drive. This necessitates that the capacitor be charged and discharged by the gray-scale voltage generating circuit at the time of switching the polarity of the gray-scale voltage. As a result, there arises some problems such as the delayed output waveform of the gray-scale voltage generating circuit and the increased electric power consumption is increased. Thus, in actuality, it has been impossible to use a capacitor with a sufficient capacitance.
  • The above-mentioned problems are hardly ever known in the case where the source driver 210 having a structure shown in Figure 55 is used; however, these problems are serious in the case of the signal line drive circuit using the oscillating voltage driving method as shown in Figure 25. More specifically, a capacitor with a capacitance sufficient for compensating the current fluctuation due to the oscillating voltage which is switched at a higher speed per output period cannot be used. This causes the strain of the voltage as shown in Figure 58 and in some cases, the deterioration of a display will be caused. In addition, in the common electrode driving circuit, the problems similar to those in the gray-scale voltage generating circuit arise. The voltage (output waveform) from the common electrode driving circuit is fluctuated because of the sudden load fluctuation of the source driver 220, in particular, using the oscillating voltage driving method; as a result, a display quality is deteriorated.
  • EP-A-0 241 562 discloses an A.C. voltage generating circuit according to the preamble of claim 1. The voltage generating circuit is incorporated in a brilliance level adjusting circuit in a drive circuit for an LCD.
  • JP-A-01 145 632 discloses a drive circuit for a liquid crystal display device having a voltage generating circuit connected between a power supply line 1 and a ground line 3. A plurality of voltage output lines emanate from the voltage generating circuit. Each voltage output line is connected to the power supply line by a capacitor.
  • A first aspect of the present invention provides an A.C. voltage generating circuit in accordance with that claimed in independent claim 1.
  • According to another aspect of the present According to another aspect of the present invention, a common electrode drive circuit for a display device in which pixel electrodes are provided on one of two substrates facing each other with a display body sandwiched therebetween and a common electrode is provided on the other substrate, wherein each pixel, constitutes capacitance between the common electrode and the pixel electrodes, said drive circuit for driving the common electrode comprising an A.C. voltage generating circuit as defined above.
  • According to another aspect of the present invention, a signal line drive circuit for a display device in which pixel electrodes and signal lines are provided on one of two substrates facing each other with a display body sandwiched therebetween, said drive circuit for supplying a signal to the pixel electrodes through the signal lines, comprises at least two voltage supply sources for supplying a voltage to the signal lines each voltage supply source comprising an A.C. voltage generating circuit as defined above.
  • In one embodiment of the present invention, the capacitor means is independently connected to the two wirings.
  • In one embodiment of the present invention, the two wirings are connected to each other with the capacitor means therebetween.
  • In one embodiment of the present invention, two kinds of control voltages at predetermined electric potentials are respectively input to the two D.C. power supplies, one of the two D.C. power supplies outputs a voltage equal to a sum of the two kinds of control voltages, and the other of the two D.C. power supplies outputs a voltage equal to a difference between the two kinds of control voltages.
  • Thus, the invention described herein makes possible the advantages of (1) providing a drive circuit for a display device at a low cost in which the number of gray-scale voltage power supplies can be reduced; (2) providing a gray-scale voltage generating device, a signal line drive circuit, and a common electrode drive circuit which can sufficiently cope with the rapid fluctuation of a load and can realize a high-grade display; and (3) a gray-scale voltage generating device, a signal line drive circuit, and a common electrode drive circuit which makes possible a display device with low power consumption.
  • These and other advantages of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon reading and understanding the following detailed description with reference to the accompanying figures.
  • Figure 1 is a block diagram showing part of one of a plurality of circuits provided on the output side of a source driver of Example 1.
  • Figure 2 is a block diagram showing part of one of a plurality of circuits provided on the output side of a source driver of Example 2.
  • Figure 3 is a block diagram showing part of one of a plurality of circuits provided on the output side of a source driver of Example 3.
  • Figure 4 is a block diagram showing part of one of a plurality of circuits provided on the output side of a source driver of Example 4.
  • Figure 5 is a circuit diagram showing the structure of a conventional source driver in which a feedthrough current is generated.
  • Figure 6 is a circuit diagram showing the structure of a source driver of Example 5.
  • Figure 7 is a diagram showing waveforms of input and output signals of the source driver of Figure 6.
  • Figure 8 is a diagram showing a basic structure of the voltage generating circuit of Example 6.
  • Figure 9 is a basic timing chart of the voltage generating circuit of Figure 8.
  • Figure 10 is a circuit diagram showing the voltage generating circuit of Example 7.
  • Figure 11 is a diagram showing an example of waveforms of an output signal input from the voltage generating circuit for the display device of the present invention.
  • Figure 12 is a circuit diagram of a voltage generating circuit of Example 8.
  • Figure 13 is a circuit diagram of a gray-scale voltage generating device of Example 9.
  • Figure 14 is a diagram showing an example of an output waveform of the gray-scale voltage generating device of the present invention in the case where a voltage fluctuation due to the fluctuation of a load is improved.
  • Figure 15 is a circuit diagram of a common electrode drive circuit for a display device of Example 10.
  • Figure 16 is a diagram showing an output voltage V out of the common electrode drive circuit for the display device of Figure 15.
  • Figure 17 is a circuit diagram of a common electrode drive circuit for a display device according to another embodiment of Example 10.
  • Figure 18 is a diagram illustrating the output of two D.C. power supplies provided in the common electrode drive circuit for the display device of Figure 17.
  • Figure 19 is a diagram showing waveforms of a signal input to the common electrode drive circuit of the display device of Figure 17 and a voltage output therefrom.
  • Figure 20 is a circuit diagram showing a basic structure according to Example 11.
  • Figure 21 is a basic timing chart of Example 11.
  • Figure 22 is a circuit diagram of a common electrode drive circuit for a display device of Example 12.
  • Figure 23 is a circuit diagram of a power supply circuit of Example 14.
  • Figure 24 is a circuit diagram of a display device of Example 14.
  • Figure 25 is a block diagram of a data drive circuit showing a basic structure of the present invention.
  • Figure 26 is a diagram showing waveforms of output voltages in an oscillating voltage driving method.
  • Figure 27 is a waveform diagram showing the relation between a video data signal and a common electrode drive signal.
  • Figure 28 is a waveform diagram of a control signal POL.
  • Figure 29 is a circuit diagram of a power supply circuit of Example 15.
  • Figure 30 is a circuit diagram of a power supply circuit of Example 16.
  • Figure 31 is a circuit diagram of a power supply circuit of Example 17.
  • Figure 32 is a circuit diagram of a power supply circuit of Example 18.
  • Figure 33 is a timing chart showing control signals POL, SON 1 , and SON 2 .
  • Figure 34 is a circuit diagram of a power supply circuit of Example 19.
  • Figure 35 is a circuit diagram of a power supply circuit of Example 20.
  • Figure 36 is a block diagram of the data drive circuit.
  • Figure 37 is a timing chart illustrating the operation of a power supply circuit.
  • Figure 38 is a circuit diagram of a power supply circuit of Example 21.
  • Figure 39 is a circuit diagram of a power supply circuit of Example 22.
  • Figure 40 is a circuit diagram of a power supply circuit of Example 23.
  • Figure 41 is a timing chart illustrating the operation of a power supply circuit of Example 23.
  • Figure 42 is a circuit diagram of a power supply circuit of Example 24.
  • Figure 43 is a circuit diagram of a power supply circuit of Example 25.
  • Figure 44 is a circuit diagram of a power supply circuit of Example 26.
  • Figure 45 is a circuit diagram showing the structure of a display drive device of Example 27.
  • Figure 46 is a waveform diagram showing the signal timing of each main portion of the display drive device of Figure 45.
  • Figure 47 is a circuit diagram showing the structure of the display drive device of Example 28.
  • Figure 48 is a circuit diagram showing an active matrix liquid crystal display device.
  • Figure 49 shows an example of a circuit diagram of a conventional gray-scale voltage generating circuit and common electrode drive circuit.
  • Figure 50A is a timing chart of the output of the circuit of Figure 49 in a normally black mode.
  • Figure 50B is a timing chart of the output of the circuit of Figure 49 in a normally white mode.
  • Figure 51 is a block diagram showing each gray-scale voltage with respect to a common electrode voltage.
  • Figure 52 is a block diagram of a digital source driver.
  • Figure 53 is a block diagram showing part of the digital source driver of Figure 52.
  • Figure 54 is a block diagram showing an active matrix liquid crystal display device.
  • Figure 55 is a block diagram of a conventional source driver.
  • Figure 56 is an equivalent circuit diagram of a signal line considered as a load.
  • Figure 57 shows an example of a circuit diagram of a conventional voltage generating circuit provided with an electric current amplifier.
  • Figure 58 is a diagram showing an example of an output waveform of the conventional voltage generating circuit in the case where the voltage is fluctuated due to the fluctuation of the load.
  • Hereinafter, the present invention will be described by way of illustrative examples with reference to the drawings. In each of the following examples, a matrix type liquid crystal display device is exemplified. It is noted that the present invention can be applied to other kinds of display devices as well.
  • Example 1
  • Figure 1 shows an output side of a drive circuit (source driver or digital data driver) of a display device according to the present invention. More specifically, Figure 1 shows an exemplary structure of a circuit 50 corresponding to an (i)th pixel among N pixels. In this structure, digital video data consists of 3 bits.
  • The circuit 50 includes sampling flip-flops M SMP , holding flip-flops M H , a selection control circuit SCOL, and nine analog switches ASW OH , ASW OL , ASW 1 - ASW 7 . Digital video data is received by the sampling flip-flops M SMP and is held by the holding flip-flops M H . An output signal from the holding flip-flops M H is input to the selection control circuit SCOL. The selection control circuit SCOL has nine output terminals S OH , S OL , S 1 - S 7 . Nine analog switches ASW OH , ASW OL , ASW 1 - ASW 7 are turned on or off based on the output signal from the nine output terminals S OH , S OL , S 1 - S 7 of the selection control circuit SCOL, respectively.
  • The analog switches ASW OH and ASW OL are respectively provided with voltages v DD and v GND from a high-potential drive power supply V DD and a low-potential drive power supply V GND . The high-potential drive power supply V DD and the low-potential drive power supply V GND are both provided in a drive power supply for driving the source driver. The analog switches ASW 1 - ASW 7 are respectively provided with gray-scale voltages v 1 - v 7 from gray-scale power supplies V 1 - V 7 provided separately from the drive power supply. The analog switches ASW OH , ASW OL , ASW 1 - ASW 7 output the voltage v DD or the like, which is given to the ASW OH or the like from the high voltage side drive power supply V DD , to a signal line S(i), when being turned on based on the signal output from the output terminals S OH , S OL , S 1 - S 7 of the selection control circuit SCOL.
  • In the present example, the case where a display device is driven in a normally white mode requiring the highest voltage when data is 0 will be described.
  • Table 2 is a logic table showing the relation between the input signal and output signal of the selection control circuit SCOL. Video signal data d2 d1 d0 SOH SOL S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 0 0 0 0 P P 1 0 0 1 1 2 0 1 0 1 3 0 1 1 1 4 1 0 0 1 5 1 0 1 1 6 1 1 0 1 7 1 1 1 1
  • The first section of Table 2 shows the value of each bit input to input terminals d 0 , d 1 , and d 2 of the selection control circuit SCOL. The second section of Table 1 shows the value of each control signal output from the output terminals S OH , S OL , S 1 - S 7 of the selection control circuit SCOL.
  • When the value of the control signal is 1, the analog switch connected to the output terminal from which the control signal with the value 1 is output is turned on. When the value of the control signal is 0, the analog switch connected to the output terminal from which the control signal with the value of 0 is output is turned off. The blank portions of the second section of Table 2 represent the value of the control signal as 0. The symbol p represents the value of the control signal POL in Figures 50A and 50B. When the value of the control signal POL is at a high level (i.e., in a positive time period), the value of a signal p is 1, and when the value of the control signal POL is at a low level (i.e., in a negative time period), the value of the control signal p is 0. There are two cases regarding the inversion of the control signal POL: the control signal POL is inverted per horizontal line or per vertical line. Herein, principally, the case where the control signal POL is inverted per horizontal line is described. In the following description, the same case will also be described unless otherwise stated.
  • Next, the operation of the selection control circuit SCOL will be described.
  • In the case where the values of all the bits input to the input terminals d 0 , d 1 , and d 2 of the selection control circuit SCOL are 0, i.e., data to be output is 0, the corresponding value in the logic table is p. In this case, when p is 1, the output terminal S OH is turned on to output the voltage v DD from the high-potential drive power supply V DD to the signal line S(i). On the other hand, when p is 0, the output terminal S OL is turned on to output the voltage v GND from the low-potential drive power supply V GND to the signal line S(i).
  • Thus, according to the present example, an output equivalent to that of a gray-scale power supply V 0 in a conventional circuit can be obtained as a rectangular waveform consisting of two voltages v DD and v GND from the high-potential drive power supply V DD and the low-potential drive power supply V GND . Accordingly, the number of the gray-scale power supplies can be reduced, compared with the conventional example.
  • Example 2
  • In the present example, a source driver capable of further reducing the number of the gray-scale power supplies compared with Example 1 will be described. Components identical with those of Example 1 bear identical reference numerals.
  • Figure 2 is a block diagram of a source driver according to the present example.
  • The circuit of the present example is provided with the voltages v DD and v GND from the high-potential drive power supply V DD and the low-potential drive power supply V GND . In a positive time period, the gray-scale voltage v 0 is made of the voltage v DD , and in a negative time period, the gray-scale voltage v 0 is made of the voltage v GND . Thus, an output waveform similar to that of the gray-scale voltage v 0 shown in Figure 50B can be obtained. The interpolated gray-scale voltages v 1 , v 3 , v 4 , and v 6 are respectively made of gray-scale voltages on both sides thereof. For example, the interpolated voltage v 2 is made of the voltage higher than the interpolated voltage v 2 and the voltage lower than the interpolated voltage v 2 (i.e., v 1 and v 3 ) by an oscillating voltage driving method.
  • The above-mentioned circuit will be described in more detail. The circuit includes the selection control circuit SCOL; five analog switches ASW OH , ASW OL , ASW 2 , ASW 5 , and ASW 7 ; and three gray-scale power supplies V 2 , V 5 , and V 7 . The selection control circuit SCOL has five output terminals S OH , S OL , S 2 , S 5 , and S 7 . The analog switches ASW OH , ASW OL , ASW 2 , ASW 5 , and ASW 7 are turned on or off based on the output signal from the output terminals S OH , S OL , S 2 , S 5 , and S 7 . In addition, the analog switches ASW 2 , ASW 5 , and ASW 7 are provided with gray-scale voltages v 2 , v 5 , and v 7 from the gray-scale power supplies V 2 , V 5 , and V 7 . The analog switches ASW OH and ASW OL are respectively provided with voltages v DD and v GND from the high-potential drive power supply V DD and the low-potential drive power supply V GND . The high-potential drive power supply V DD and the low-potential drive power supply V GND are both provided in a drive power supply for driving the source driver.
  • Table 3 is a logic table showing the relation between the input signal and output signal of the selection control circuit SCOL. Video signal data d2 d1 d0 SOH SOL S2 S5 S7 0 0 0 0 p p 1 0 0 1 pt pt t 2 0 1 0 1 3 0 1 1 t t 4 1 0 0 t t 5 1 0 1 1 6 1 1 0 t t 7 1 1 1 1
  • When the data is 0 in a positive time period, the analog switch ASW OH alone is turned on, since signals p and p are respectively 1 and 0 in a positive time period.
  • When the data is 1 in a positive time period, the analog switches ASW OH and ASW OL are repeatedly turned on or off in accordance with the level of the signal t, and a pixel is charged with a voltage between the gray-scale voltage v 0 (the voltage from the high-potential drive power supply V DD ) and the gray-scale voltage v 2 , the voltage being determined based on a duty ratio of the signal t in accordance with the oscillating voltage driving method.
  • When the data is 2, the output terminal S 2 is provided with a signal 1, and the analog switch ASW 2 is turned on. Thus, the gray-scale voltage v 2 from the gray-scale power supply V 2 is directly output to the signal line S(i).
  • When the data is 3, the output terminals S 2 and S 5 are provided with signals t and t , and one of the analog switches ASW 2 and ASW 5 is turned on. Thus, one of the gray-scale voltage v 2 from the gray-scale power supply V 2 and the gray-scale voltage v 5 from the gray-scale power supply V 5 is alternately output to the signal line S(i). Namely, the gray-scale voltage v 3 which is an interpolated voltage between the gray-scale voltage v 2 and the gray-scale voltage v 5 is given to the display device.
  • When the data is 4, the output terminals S 2 and S 5 are respectively provided with signals t and t, and one of the analog switches ASW 2 and ASW 5 is turned on. Thus, one of the gray-scale voltage v 2 from the gray-scale power supply V 2 and the gray-scale voltage v 5 from the gray-scale power supply V 5 is alternately output to the signal line S(i). Namely, the gray-scale voltage v 4 which is an interpolated voltage between the gray-scale voltage v 2 and the gray-scale voltage v 5 is given to the display device.
  • The voltage values of the gray-scale voltages v 3 and v 4 depend upon the duty ratio of the signal t to the signal t . If the duty ratio of the signal t to the signal t for the gray-scale voltage v 3 is equal to that for the gray-scale voltage v 4 , the gray-scale voltages v 3 and v 4 become equal to each other, making it difficult to secure a predetermined gray-scale voltage. In a driver, which has been put into practical use, utilizing the present invention, a signal having a duty ratio of 2:1 (high/low) is used as the signal t. By doing so, as the gray-scale voltages v 3 and v 4 corresponding to the data of 3 and 4, the following voltages can be applied to pixels: v3 = 2v2 + v5 3 ,   v4 = v2 + 2v5 3
  • When the data is 5, the output terminal S 5 is provided with a signal 1, and the analog switch ASW 5 is turned on. Thus, the gray-scale voltage v 5 from the gray-scale power supply V 5 is directly output to the signal line S(i).
  • When the data is 6, the output terminals S 5 and S 7 are respectively provided with signals t and t , and one of the analog switches ASW 5 and ASW 7 is turned on. Thus, one of the gray-scale voltage v 5 from the gray-scale power supply V 5 and the gray-scale voltage v 7 from the gray-scale power supply V 7 is alternately output to the signal line S(i). Namely, the gray-scale voltage v 6 which is an interpolated voltage between the gray-scale voltage v 5 and the gray-scale voltage v 7 is given to the display device.
  • When the data is 7, the output terminal S 7 is provided with a signal 1, and the analog switch ASW 7 is turned on. Thus, the gray-scale voltage v 7 from the gray-scale power supply V 7 is directly output to the signal line S(i).
  • In a negative time period, when the data is O, the gray-scale voltage v 0 is made of the voltage v GND , and when the data is 1, the gray-scale voltage v 0 is also made of the voltage v GND . The above-mentioned other cases in a positive time period apply to the other cases in a negative time period. As described above, according to the present example, the number of the gray-scale power supplies is made smaller than that of the conventional example (the number of the gray-scale power supplies of the present example can be further reduced, compared with Example 1).
  • Example 3
  • In the present example, unlike Example 2, the interpolated gray-scale voltage v 1 is not made of the voltages v DD and v GND from the high-potential drive power supply V DD and the low-potential drive power supply V GND , but is made of the gray-scale voltages v 0 and v 2 .
  • Figure 3 is a block diagram of a source driver according to the present example.
  • A circuit of the present example has the same structure as that of Example 2 with the following alterations:
  • The selection control circuit SCOL further includes an output terminal S 0 ; an analog switch ASW 0 , which is turned on or off based on the signal from the output terminal S 0 , is provided; and a gray-scale power supply V 0 , which gives a gray-scale voltage v 0 to the analog switch ASW 0 , is provided.
  • Table 4 is a logic table showing the relation between the input signal and output signal of the selection control circuit SCOL. Video signal data d2 d1 d0 SOH SOL S0 S2 S5 S7 0 0 0 0 P P 1 0 0 1 t t 2 0 1 0 1 3 0 1 1 t t 4 1 0 0 t t 5 1 0 1 1 6 1 1 0 t t 7 1 1 1 1
  • When the data is 0, the same operation as that in Example 2 is performed. When the data is 1, the output terminals S 0 and S 2 are respectively provided with signals t and t, and one of the analog switches ASW 0 and ASW 2 is turned on. Thus, one of the gray-scale voltage v 0 from the gray-scale power supply V 0 and the gray-scale voltage v 2 from the gray-scale power supply V 2 is alternately output to the signal line S(i). Namely, the interpolated gray-scale voltage v 1 which interpolates between the gray-scale voltage v 0 and the gray-scale voltage v 2 is given to the display device.
  • Thus, in the present example, the voltage to be applied to a pixel when the data is 0 and the voltage to be applied to a pixel when the data is 1 can be independently determined. As a result, a driver, in which a gray scale in the vicinity of a black level for the most black display is easily adjusted, can be obtained. In the same way as in Example 2, a signal having a duty ratio of 2:1 (high/low) is used as the signal t.
  • Example 4
  • According to the present example, the lowest and highest gray-scale voltages are obtained, based on signals from a drive power supply for driving a source driver.
  • A circuit of the present example has the same structure as that of Example 3 with the following alterations:
  • The selection control circuit SCOL further includes output terminals S 7H and S 7L ; and analog switches ASW 7H and ASW 7L , which are respectively turned on or off based on the signals from the output terminals S 7H and S 7L , are provided.
  • Table 5 is a logic table showing the relation between the input signal and output signal of the selection control circuit SCOL. Video signal data d2 d1 d0 SOH SOL S0 S2 S5 S7 S7H S7L 0 0 0 0 P P 1 0 0 1 t t 2 0 1 0 1 3 0 1 1 t t 4 1 0 0 t t 5 1 0 1 1 6 1 1 0 t t 7 1 1 1 P P
  • In the circuit of the present example, the operations in the case where the data is 0 to 6 are the same as those in Example 3. When the data is 7, a different operation is performed. More specifically, when the data is 7, the voltage v GND is output in a positive time period and the voltage v DD is output in a negative time period. Accordingly, the gray-scale voltage v 6 to be applied to a pixel when the data is 6 is determined independently from the voltage output from the driver when the data is 7. Thus, a driver, in which gray scales in the vicinity of a white level for the most white display as well as a black level is easily adjusted, can be obtained. In the present example, a signal having a duty ratio of 2:1 (high/low) is also used as the signal t.
  • In an actual liquid crystal display device, the transmittance with respect to a voltage applied to a drive terminal of the device is different depending upon the polarity (i.e., a positive time period and a negative time period). For compensating this difference, the center value of the gray-scale voltage and that of the common electrode voltage are shifted. Such a difference is slightly different depending upon voltages, so that the respective gray-scale power supplies are preferably adjusted independently. In order to achieve this, the inventors invented the following method:
  • The center value of the common electrode voltage v com is shifted with respect to the gray-scale voltage v 0 (which is the largest in a normally white mode), thereby compensating the difference in characteristics between the gray-scale voltage v 0 in a positive time period and that in a negative time period. Then, the center values of the other gray-scale voltages are shifted based on the center value of the common electrode thus determined. Thus, the difference in characteristics of all of the gray scales between a positive time period and a negative time period is compensated.
  • The cause for the difference in characteristics between a positive time period and a negative time period and a shift amount for compensating the difference are described in Japanese Laid-Open Patent Publication No. 5-53534.
  • In Example 4, an output voltage when the data is 0 and an output voltage when the data is 7 are formed by the high-potential drive power supply V DD and the low-potential drive power supply V GND . The center value thereof is fixed to be 1/2(v DD + v GND ) and cannot be adjusted. This, however, does not cause any problems. The reason for this is that in the gray-scale voltage v 7 , the absolute value of the electric potential difference with respect to the common electrode is small (at a level which hardly causes the difference in characteristics between a positive time period and a negative time period.
  • Example 5
  • According to the present example, a feedthrough current, which is caused in the case where an interpolated gray-scale voltage is generated, is prevented by switching the analog switches to which the gray-scale voltages v DD and v GND are supplied from the high-potential drive power supply V DD and the low-potential drive power supply V GND for driving the source driver.
  • Referring to Figure 5, in a conventional structure, a signal p is directly input to one analog switch ASW H . The signal p is inverted by an inverter 51 and then input to the other analog switch ASW L . Both of the analog switches ASW H and ASW L are instantaneously turned on; the voltage v DD from the high-potential drive power supply V DD flows into the low-potential drive power supply V GND to cause a feedthrough current. Consequently, a substantial noise component remains in the power supply, resulting in several problems such as heat generation and malfunction of the logic.
  • Figure 6 shows the vicinity of the analog switches ASW H and ASW L of the drive circuit of the display device according to the present invention. The analog switches ASW H and ASW L are respectively provided with the gray-scale voltage vDD from the high-potential drive power supply V DD and the gray-scale voltage v GND from the low-potential drive power supply V GND . This circuit has a structure in which the analog switches ASW H and ASW L are logically prevented from instantaneously turning on together at the time of switching the analog switches ASW H and ASW L . More specifically, two portions of the selection control circuit SCOL, which output an on/off control signal to the analog switches ASW H and ASW L , consist of an AND circuit 61 and a NOR circuit 62. A p signal is directly input to one input terminal of the AND circuit 61, and the p signal is input through a buffer 63 to the other input terminal of the AND circuit 61 as a p' signal. To one input inversion terminal of the NOR circuit 62, the p signal is directly input, and to the other input inversion terminal thereof, the p signal is input through the buffer 63 as the p' signal. An output terminal S H of the AND circuit 61 is electrically connected to the analog switch ASW H , and an output terminal S L of the NOR circuit 62 is electrically connected to the analog switch ASW L .
  • Figure 7 shows input and output waveforms of the signals in the above-mentioned circuit: (a) a waveform of the p signal; (b) a waveform of the p' signal; (c) a waveform of the output terminal S H ; and (d) a waveform of the output terminal S L . As is understood from this figure, when both of the p and p' signals become 1, the AND circuit 61 gives an ON (High level) signal to the analog switch ASW H through the output terminal S H , thereby turning on the analog switch ASW H .
  • Thereafter, when both of the p and p' signals become 0, the AND circuit 61 gives an OFF (Low level) signal to the analog switch ASW H through the output terminal S H , thereby turning off the analog switch ASW H . At the same time with this, the NOR circuit 62 gives an ON (High level) signal to the analog switch ASW L through the output terminal S L , thereby turning on the analog switch ASW L . At this time, the timing at which the p and p' signals (both of which are 0) are given to the AND circuit and the timing at which the p and p' signals (both of which are inverted) are given to the NOR circuit are slightly shifted by Δ t.
  • According to the present example, both of the analog switches ASW H and ASW L are not simultaneously turned on. Thus, the feedthrough current can be prevented from being generated. As a result, a substantial noise component does not remain in the power supply, solving the problems such as heat generation and the malfunction of the logic.
  • Example 6
  • Figure 8 shows a fundamental structure of a voltage generating circuit of the present example. This voltage generating circuit has two D.C. power supplies Y and Z. An output voltage V y from the power supply Y is set so as to be higher than an output voltage V z from the power supply Z. The output terminal of the power supply Y is connected to one terminal of a switch SW y and the output terminal of the power supply V z is connected to one terminal of a switch SW z . The other terminal of the switch SW y and that of the switch SW z are connected to each other. A voltage at the connecting point between the switches SW y and SW z is an output voltage Vs. The switches SW y and SW z respectively select the D.C. power supplies Y and Z. The switch SW y is provided with a control signal POL. The control signal POL is inverted by an inverter INV and then input to the switch SW z . More specifically, when the switch SW y is in an ON state, the switch SW z is in an OFF state, and when the switch SW y is in an OFF state, the switch SW z is in an ON state. One terminal of a capacitor C y is connected to the connecting point between the D.C. power supply Y and the switch SW y , and one terminal of a capacitor C z is connected to the connecting point between the D.C. power supply Z and the switch SW z . The other terminals of the respective capacitors C y and C z are grounded. In order to decrease the output impedance of the output voltage V s , the switches SW y and SW z preferably have the lowest possible impedance when being in an ON state.
  • Figure 9 shows a timing chart in the case where the voltage generating circuit shown in Figure 8 is used as a gray-scale voltage generating circuit for a display device. The operation of the voltage generating circuit will be described with reference to Figure 9.
  • The control signal POL is inverted per horizontal scanning period in a line inversion drive. The period during which the control signal POL is at a high level corresponds to the time at which a pixel is positively charged. The period during which the control signal POL is at a low level corresponds to the time at which a pixel is negatively charged. The switches SW y and SW z are turned on, when the control signal POL is at a high level, and are turned off, when the control signal POL is at a low level.
  • In the case of the voltage generating circuit shown in Figure 8, when the control signal POL is at a high level, the switch SW y is turned on and the switch SW z is turned off. Thus, the D.C. voltage V y is output through the switch SW y from the D.C. power supply Y as the voltage V s . During this time, the capacitor C z is disconnected from the power supply Y by the switch SW z , so that the capacitor C z does not become a load for an output of the power supply Y. Further, the capacitor Cy previously charged with the voltage V y of the power supply Y supplies or stores a charge in accordance with the load fluctuation through the switch SW y . Likewise, when the control signal POL is at a low level, the voltage V z from the D.C. power supply Z is output through the switch SW z as the voltage V s , and the capacitor C z supplies or stores a charge in accordance with the load fluctuation.
  • As described above, the capacitors C y and C z are respectively connected to only the D.C. power supplies Y and Z. When the polarity of the voltage V s is switched, the capacitors C y and C z do not become a load for an output of the voltage generating circuit. Thus, the capacitors C y and C z should have a capacitance sufficient for alleviating the voltage fluctuation due to the load fluctuation.
  • Example 7
  • Figure 10 shows a circuit diagram of a voltage generating circuit of the present example. In the present example, operational amplifiers OP Y and OP Z are used for the D.C. power supplies Y and Z. A non-inversion input terminal of the operational amplifier OP Y is connected to the connecting point between fixed resistors R 1 and R 2 which are connected in series to a high potential V high side, and a non-inversion input terminal of the operational amplifier OP Z is connected to the connecting point between fixed resistors R 2 and R 3 which are connected in series to a low potential V low side. In the present example, transistors FET y and FET z are used instead of the switches SW y and SW z . FETs allow an electric current to flow in two directions and have a remarkably small ON resistance; therefore, the FETs are suitable for use as switching elements of the present invention. Gates of the transistors FET y and FET z are respectively connected to a level conversion circuit T through fixed resistors R y and R z . The level conversion circuit T converts the levels of the control signal POL and its inverted signal, which are given to the transistors FET y and FET z at a logic level, to those suitable for controlling the transistors FET y and FET z . The level conversion circuit T is not required, depending upon the characteristics of the FETs to be used.
  • Hereinafter, the operation of the voltage generating circuit of the present example in the case where this circuit is used as a gray-scale voltage generating circuit of a display device will be described with reference to the timing chart of Figure 11. In this case, the following is assumed: A control signal POL is inverted per horizontal scanning period H. When the control signal POL is at a high level, a pixel is positively charged, and when the control signal POL is at a low level, a pixel is negatively charged.
  • When the control signal POL is at a high level, the signal controlling the transistor FET y is at a high level (i.e., in an ON state), and the signal controlling the transistor FET z is at a low level (i.e., in an OFF state). Thus, a voltage V y from the operational amplifier OP Y is output from the voltage generating circuit through the transistor FET y in an ON state. At this time, the capacitor C z is disconnected from the voltage generating circuit by the transistor FET Z ; therefore, the capacitor C z does not become a load on the output of the voltage generating circuit. The previously charged capacitor C y supplies or stores part of a charge of a rush current generated when a pixel is charged or discharged in the case where the output from the voltage generating circuit is switched from a positive time period to a negative time period or from a negative time period to a positive time period. Further, the capacitor C y alleviates the voltage fluctuation, which is caused due to the oscillating voltage in a positive time period or negative time period, through the transistor FET y in an ON state.
  • On the other hand, when the control signal POL is at a low level, the signal controlling the transistor FET z is at a high level (in an on state) and the transistor FET y is at a low level (in an off state). Thus, a voltage V z from the operational amplifier OP 2 is output from the voltage generating circuit through the transistor FET z in an ON state. At this time, the capacitor Cy is disconnected from the output terminal of the voltage generating circuit by the transistor FET y ; therefore, the capacitor C y does not become a load on the output of the voltage generating circuit. The previously charged capacitor C z supplies or stores part of a charge of a rush current generated when a pixel is charged or discharged in the case where the output from the voltage generating circuit is switched from a positive time period to a negative time period or from a negative time period to a positive time period. Further, the capacitor C z alleviates the voltage fluctuation, which is caused due to the oscillating voltage in a positive time period or negative time period, through the transistor FET y in an ON state.
  • As described above, the capacitors C y and C z are respectively connected to only the operational amplifiers OP Y and OP Z . Therefore, the capacitors C y and C z do not become a load when the voltage generating circuit outputs the voltage V z at the time of switching between a positive time period and a negative time period. Therefore, the capacitors C y and C z will have the capacitance required for the load fluctuation.
  • Thus, according to the present example, the capacitors C y and C z function so as to compensate for the load fluctuation, so that in the case where this voltage generating circuit is used as a common electrode drive circuit, a waveform having suppressed voltage fluctuation can be obtained without being less affected by a voltage applied to a pixel electrode by a source driver, compared with the output waveform of the conventional voltage generating circuit of Figure 58. As a result, the deterioration of a display quality can be prevented.
  • In the voltage generating circuit having the above-mentioned structure, the operational amplifiers OP Y and OP Z do not supply an A.C. voltage (short rectangular waveform) as in operational amplifiers OP C , OP 0 , and OP 1 of the voltage generating circuit shown in Figure 49, and only function as a D.C. voltage power supply. Since it is not required to consider the rise characteristics (slewing rate) of the operational amplifiers to be used, the operational amplifiers of the present example will have a sufficiently large current capacity even though any slewing rate is small. In addition, the capacitors C y and C z do not become a load when the voltage generating circuit outputs the voltage V z at the time of switching between a positive time period and a negative time period. Therefore, the capacitors C y and C z will have the capacitance required for the load fluctuation.
  • In the voltage generating circuit of the present example, when the polarity of an output is switched, part of the charge required for charging or discharging the load can be supplied or stored by the capacitors C y and C z . Therefore, transistors for allowing a large rush current as shown in Figure 57 are not required. It is noted that transistors for amplifying an electric current may be provided, depending upon the characteristics of the required drive circuit.
  • The capacitors C y and C z alleviate the load fluctuation caused by an oscillating voltage or the like in one horizontal scanning period and supply a charge of a rush current for charging or discharging the load when the polarity of an output is switched. However, the present invention is not limited to the above-mentioned structure. It is also possible that a capacitor for alleviating the load fluctuation in one horizontal scanning period and another capacitor for supplying a charge of a rush current are separately provided in each power supply. This structure is advantageous, particularly in the case where each capacity coefficient of the intended capacitors is greatly different.
  • Example 8
  • Figure 12 shows a circuit diagram showing a voltage generating circuit of the present example. Components identical with those of Example 7 bear the identical reference numerals. In the voltage generating circuit shown in Figure 12, a capacitor C yz is connected to the connecting point between the operational amplifier OP Y and the transistor FET y and to the connecting point between the operational amplifier OPZ and the transistor FET z .
  • Since the capacitor C yz is connected between the voltages V y and V z having different polarities, the capacitor C yz enhances the effects of supplying a charge for a rush current at the time of switching the polarity, compared with the capacitors C y and C z each of which has one terminal grounded.
  • Example 9
  • Figure 13 is a circuit diagram of a gray-scale voltage generating device of the present example. In general, the gray-scale voltage generating device requires a plurality of voltage generating circuits as shown in Figure 49. Thus, each voltage generating circuit has a set of D.C. power supplies. The gray-scale voltage generating device of the present example includes two voltage generating circuits having a structure similar to that of Example 7 for the purpose of outputting two kinds of voltages v a and V b . The voltage generating circuits respectively have operational amplifiers OP J and OP K and operational amplifiers OP Y and OP Z . A non-inversion input terminal of the operational amplifier OP J is connected to the connecting point between fixed resistors R 4 and R 5 which are connected in series to a high potential V high side. A non-inversion input terminal of the operational amplifier OP K is connected to the connecting point between fixed resistors R 5 and R 6 which are connected in series to a low potential V low side. Likewise, a non-inversion input terminal of the operational amplifier POY is connected to the connecting point between fixed resistors R 1 and R 2 which are connected in series to a high potential V high side. A non-inversion input terminal of the operational amplifier OP Z is connected to the connecting point between fixed resistors R 2 and R 3 which are connected in series to a low potential V low side. The output voltages V j , V k , V y , and V z from the operational amplifiers OP J , OP K , OP Y , and OP Z are set at predetermined values by appropriately setting the resistances of the fixed resistors R 1 to R 6 . Thus, different levels of voltages V a and V b are obtained.
  • An output terminal of the operational amplifier OP J is connected to a capacitor C j and a transistor FET j ; that of the operational amplifier OP K is connected to a capacitor C k and a transistor FET k ; that of the operational amplifier OP Y is connected to a capacitor Cy and a transistor FET y ; and that of the operational amplifier OP Z is connected to a capacitor C z and a transistor FET z . Each gate of the transistors FET j , FET k , FET y , and FET z is connected to the level conversion circuit T respectively through fixed resistors R j , R k , R y , and R z . The level conversion circuit T converts the level of the control signal POL, which is given at a logic level, to that suitable for controlling the transistors FET j and FET y , thus providing the control signal POL to the transistors FET j and FET y . The level conversion circuit T also converts the level of an inverted control signal POL to that suitable for controlling the transistors FET k and FET z , thus providing the inverted control signal POL to the transistors FET k and FET z . The level conversion circuit T is not required, depending upon the characteristics of FETs to be used.
  • Further, in the present example, a capacitor C jy is provided between the output terminals of the power supplies OP J and OP Y , and a capacitor C kz is provided between the output terminals of the power supplies OP K and OP Z .
  • In the same way as in Example 7; the gray-scale voltage generating device alleviates the voltage fluctuation caused by the supply of a charge of a rush current and the load fluctuation without increasing the power consumption. In particular, the capacitors C jy and C kz are effective for alleviating the load fluctuation caused by an oscillating voltage or the like in addition to the effects of the voltage generating circuit of Example 7. In an oscillating voltage driving method, a source driver alternately selects the voltages V a and V b per horizontal scanning period. Therefore, in the case where the transistors FET j and FET y are selected in one horizontal scanning period, in some cases, the capacitor C jy effectively alleviates the voltage fluctuation.
  • The gray-scale voltage generating device of the present example includes two voltage generating circuits; however, the number of the voltage generating circuits is not limited to two. Three or more voltage generating circuits may be used as shown in Figure 49. In this case, capacitors provided between the output terminals of two operation amplifiers (i.e., capacitors C jy and C kz in Figure 13) may be provided between any operational amplifiers of any voltage generating circuit.
  • Figure 14 shows an output waveform of the voltage generating circuit of the present invention in the case where the source driver is driven by the oscillating voltage driving method. Figure 14 corresponds to the output waveform of the conventional example shown in Figure 58. As is understood from Figures 14 and 58, according to the present invention, the waveform rises or falls more rapidly at the time of switching the polarity, compared with the conventional example. The reason for this is that charges stored in the capacitors can be provided as part of a rush current. In addition, according to the present invention, the voltage fluctuation is suppressed more than the conventional example. This is because the capacitors compensate the load fluctuation caused by an oscillating voltage or the like. Thus, in the source driver employing the gray-scale voltage generating device of the present example, the output waveform has less voltage fluctuation, resulting in the rapid rise and fall of the waveform. The source driver may have a structure in which the gray-scale voltage generating device is integrated therein.
  • As is apparent from the above description, in the gray-scale voltage generating device of Example 9, the delay of the output waveform is reduced and the voltage fluctuation is suppressed, so that the display quality of the display device can be improved.
  • In the conventional circuit, electric power for charging or discharging the load is consumed right after the operational amplifier generates an A.C. signal (rectangular waveform). In the gray-scale voltage generating device of the present invention, since part of a charge for charging or discharging the load can be supplied by the capacitors, the consumption power supply can be reduced. In addition, in the conventional example as shown in Figure 57, the electric power consumed by the transistor for amplifying an electric current is not required according to the present invention. Thus, the electric power consumption can be reduced.
  • Moreover, the power supply is not required to output an A.C. voltage, so that the operational amplifier for general purpose with a low slewing rate and at a low cost can be used. As a result, the effective cost reduction can be obtained. In the case where the transistors for a rush current are omitted, the effects of the reduction of cost are further increased.
  • When a gray-scale voltage generating device having the above-mentioned effects is applied to a source driver, the output waveform has less voltage fluctuation and its rise and fall are hardly delayed. Furthermore, since the electric power consumption in the source driver is reduced, a display device consuming a low electric power can be realized.
  • In addition, in Examples 6 to 9, the case where the present invention is applied to the gray-scale voltage generating circuit for a display device is described. The present invention is not limited thereto. For example, the present invention can be applied to a voltage generating circuit such as a common electrode drive circuit for a display device.
  • Example 10
  • Figure 15 is a block diagram of a common electrode drive circuit of the present example. The present example shows the case where the amplitude of an A.C. output voltage V out given to the common electrode and the center of the amplitude are independently controlled.
  • The common electrode drive circuit shown in Figure 15 includes D.C. power supplies Y and Z to which control signals S ac and S dc are given from outside. Output voltages V y and V z from the D.C. power supplies Y and Z are controlled by the control signals S ac and S dc . Figure 16 shows an example of the operation of a common electrode drive circuit of Figure 15. The difference of an electric potential Vpp of the output voltages V y and V z from the D.C. power supplies Y and Z is controlled by the control signal S ac , and a center voltage V dc of the output voltages V y and V z is controlled by the control signal S dc . Consequently, the amplitude of the output voltage V out and the center thereof can be controlled by the control signals S ac and S dc by switching the output voltages V y and V z with the switches SW 1 and SW 2 .
  • Figure 17 illustrates an example in which the control signals S ac and S dc are regulated with a voltage. The control voltages V ac and V dc are respectively input to a non-inversion input terminal (+) of an operational amplifier OP a through resistors R 1 and R 2 , and the output from the operational amplifier OPa is input to an inversion input terminal (-) after being divided by resistors R 3 and R 4 . Thus, the operational amplifier OP a constitutes a non-inversion adder. The voltage V y is represented by the following Expression 1:
    Figure 00590001
  • The control voltage V dc is input to a non-inversion input terminal (+) of the operational amplifier OP b after being divided by resistors R 7 and R 8 , and the control voltage V ac is input to the inversion input terminal (-) through a resistor R 5 . The output terminal of the operational amplifier OP b is connected to an inversion input terminal (-) through a resistor R 6 . Thus, the operational amplifier OP b constitutes a subtracter. The voltage V z is represented by the following Expression 2:
    Figure 00600001
  • Assuming that the values of four resistors R 1 , R 2 , R 3 , and R 4 provided around the operational amplifier OP a are equal to each other, and the values of four resistors R 5 , R 6 , R 7 , and R 8 provided around the operational amplifier OP b are equal to each other, the output voltage V y from the operational amplifier OP a is represented by the following expression 3 and the operational amplifier OP b is represented by the following Expression 4: Vy = Vdc + Vac Vz = Vdc - Vac
  • Thus, the output voltages Vy and V z are as shown in Figure 18.
  • The output voltages Vy and V z from the operational amplifiers OP a and OP b to the common electrode are controlled by switching the switches SW 1 and SW 2 ; therefore, when the switches SW 1 and SW 2 are alternately turned on and off, the output voltage V out to the common electrode becomes an A.C. voltage having a rectangular waveform in which a peak-to-peak voltage is the control voltage V ac x 2 and the center of the amplitude is the control voltage V dc , as shown in Figure 19. Because of this, the amplitude can be adjusted with the control voltage V ac and the center of the amplitude can be adjusted with the control voltage V dc .
  • The reasons for the above-mentioned structure are as follows:
  • In the case of the voltage generating circuits as shown in Figures 8, 10, and 12, the respective voltages output from the D.C. power supplies Y and Z or from the operational amplifiers OP Y and OPZ have different amplitude and the centers thereof are different from each other. When the center of the amplitude is adjusted after the amplitude is set, the amplitude thus set is also varied. On the other hand, when the amplitude is adjusted after the center of the amplitude is set, the center of the amplitude is also varied. As a result, the voltage to be applied to each pixel is not uniform, leading to the deterioration of a display quality. On the other hand, in the case of the circuit shown in Figure 17, even though the control voltage V ac is varied, the center of the amplitude is not varied, and even though the control voltage V dc is varied, the amplitude is not varied. More specifically, in this case, the center of the amplitude can be changed without changing the amplitude or the amplitude can be changed without changing the center of the amplitude. Particularly in the liquid crystal display device, the display quality can be prevented from being deteriorated.
  • In the case of the circuit of Figure 17, a voltage is used as a control signal; however, the amplitude and the center thereof can be controlled with a logic signal by installing a D/A converter in the circuit, instead of being controlled with the voltage. In the example shown in Figure 17, the non-inversion adder, i.e., the combination of the operational amplifier and the resistors is used as one D.C. power supply, and the subtracter, i.e., the combination of the operational amplifier and the resistors is used as the other D.C. power supply. The present invention is not limited thereto. Circuits with another structure can be used as two D.C. power supplies.
  • The common electrode drive circuit of Example 10 is equivalent to a circuit in which the output terminal of the voltage generating circuit described in Examples 7 to 9 is connected to the common electrode. Thus, it is noted that the voltage generating circuit of the present invention can have a structure as shown in Examples 7 to 9. In this case, an appropriate circuit structure can be selected in accordance with an external device to which the output terminal is connected. The external device to which the voltage generating circuit of the present invention is applicable is not limited to the common electrode drive circuit. Any devices requiring a drive using a rectangular waveform can be applied. One example of such a device includes the gray-scale voltage power supply of the source drivers as shown in Figures 25 and 55. In this case, the source driver of the present invention can have the structures as shown in Examples 7 to 10.
  • Example 11
  • Figure 20 shows the structure of a voltage generating circuit according to the present example. The voltage generating circuit includes a plurality of power supplies, a D.C. power supply Y outputting a high output voltage V y , a D.C. power supply Z outputting a low output voltage V z , a first switching group consisting of two switches SW 1 and SW 2 , and a second switching group consisting of one switch SW 3 .
  • The D.C. power supply Y is connected to an output terminal 5 through the switch SW 1 , the D.C. power supply Z is connected to the output terminal 5 through the switch SW 2 , a portion between the output terminal 5 and the first switching group SW 1 is grounded (GND) through the switch SW 3 .
  • The switches SW 1 , SW 2 , and SW 3 respectively select the D.C. power supplies Y, Z, and GND. The switches SW 1 , SW 2 , and SW 3 are turned on/off by a control signal POL (shown in (a) of Figure 21) and a control signal DIS (shown in (b) of Figure 21). The control signal POL has its polarity inverted per horizontal scanning period H, and the control signal DIS turns high for a predetermined period at a time when the control signal POL is switched from a high level to a low level or from a low level to a high level. The control signal POL inverted by an inverter 1 and the signal DIS inverted by an inverter 2 are operated through a positive logic AND gate 3, thereby obtaining a signal for the ON-OFF control of the switch SW 1 . The control signal DIS inverted by the inverter 2 and the control signal POL are operated through a positive logic AND gate 4, thereby obtaining a signal for the ON-OFF control of the switch SW 2 . The ON-OFF control of the switch SW 3 is performed by the control signal DIS. When the switch SW 1 is in an ON state, the switches SW 2 and SW 3 are turned off, and when the switch SW 2 is in an ON state, the switches SW 1 and SW 3 are turned off. When the switch SW 3 is in an ON state, the switches SW 1 and SW 2 are turned off. Thus, when the second switching group is in an ON state, the first switching group is turned off. More specifically, only one switch is turned on; a switch in an ON state is transferred sequentially.
  • The switches SW 1 , SW 2 , and SW 3 preferably have the lowest possible impedance when being in an ON state, and the highest possible impedance when being in an OFF state.
  • The output terminal of the D.C. power supply Y is connected to one terminal of a capacitor C y and that of the D.C. power supply Z is connected to one terminal of a capacitor C z . The voltages output from the D.C. power supplies Y and Z are stabilized by the capacitors Cy and C z .
  • Hereinafter, the operation of the voltage generating circuit will be described by exemplifying the case where the voltage generating circuit is used in a common electrode drive circuit of a display device with reference to the timing chart of Figure 21. In the line inversion driving method, it is assumed that a pixel is positively charged when the control signal POL is at a high level, and a pixel is negatively charged when the control signal POL is at a low level.
  • Under the above-mentioned assumption, the switches SW 1 , SW 2 , and SW 3 satisfying the following conditions are used: The switches SW 1 , SW 2 , and SW 3 are turned on when the control signal POL is at a high level, and the switches SW 1 , SW 2 , and SW 3 are turned off when the control signal POL is at a low level. In this case, as shown in (a) of Figure 21, when the control signal POL is at a high level and the control signal DIS is at a low level, that is, when a pixel is to be positively charged, the switch SW 2 is turned on and the switches SW 1 and SW 3 are turned off. Thus, as shown in (c) of Figure 21, a voltage V z output from the D.C. power supply Z is output to the output terminal 5. On the other hand, when the control signal POL is at a low level and the control signal DIS is at a low level, that is, when a pixel is to be negatively charged, the switch SW 1 is turned on and the switches SW 2 and SW 3 are turned off. Thus, as shown in (c) of Figure 21, a voltage V y is output from the D.C. power supply Y is output to the output terminal 5. When the polarity of the control signal POL is switched, that is, when the control signal DIS is at a high level, the switches SW 1 and SW 2 are always in an OFF and the switch SW 3 is in an ON state. As shown in (c) of Figure 21, the output terminal 5 is grounded (GND) by the switch SW 3 .
  • Because of the above-mentioned structure, a rush current flowing when the polarity of the control signal POL is switched is supplied from the GND, thus reducing the rush current from the D.C. power supplies Y and Z.
  • Example 12
  • Figure 22 shows a common electrode drive circuit of a display device according to the present invention. The timing chart of the present example is the same as that shown in Figure 21 of Example 11.
  • In the present example, FETs are used as the switches SW 1 , SW 2 , and SW 3 . Because of this, the level conversion circuit 10 converts the levels of the control signal DIS and the inverted signal thereof, which are provided at a logic level, into those suitable for the control of the FETs. The other components are similar to those in Figure 20. The reason for using FETs for switches is that the FETs have characteristics suitable for the present invention, i.e., the FETs allow an electric current to flow bidirectionally and have remarkably small ON resistance. The level conversion circuit 10 is not required, depending upon the characteristics of the FETs to be used.
  • In the common electrode drive circuit with the above-mentioned structure, when the polarity of the control signal POL is switched, that is, when the control signal DIS is at a high level, the switches SW 1 and SW 2 are always in an OFF state, the switch SW 3 is in an ON state, and the output terminal 5 is grounded (GND) by the switch SW 3 . Because of this, a rush current flowing when the polarity of the control signal POL is switched is supplied from the GND, thus reducing the rush current from the D.C. power supplies Y and Z.
  • Since a plurality of switches SW 1 , SW 2 , and SW 3 are not simultaneously turned on, there is no possibility that the electric current flowing from the D.C. power supplies Y and Z flow into the GND through the switches SW 1 and SW 3 or the switches SW 2 and SW 3 .
  • In the present example, the FETs are used as switches; however, the present invention is not limited thereto. Other kinds of switches can be used.
  • Example 13
  • The present example shows the case where switches having a large transient response are used.
  • In Example 12, a plurality of switches are not simultaneously turned on. In the case where switches having a transient response such as a MOS analog switch are used, a feedthrough current sometimes flows at the time of switching from a ON state to an OFF state or from an OFF state to an ON state. In the present example, each switch may be controlled so as to have a period in which both of the switches are simultaneously turned off at the time of switching. More specifically, the OFF period is preferably set to be as long as possible.
  • The voltage generating circuit of Examples 11 to 13 of the present invention can be applied to any device directly or indirectly driving the load as well as the common electrode drive circuit of the display device. An example of the device includes the gray-scale voltage generating circuit 400 for providing the gray-scale voltage to the source driver 200 shown in Figure 48.
  • The present invention can be applied to both the common electrode drive circuit and the gray-scale voltage generating circuit used in the display device.
  • As is apparent from the above description, in the voltage generating circuits of Examples 11 to 13, a rush current flowing when the polarity of the control signal POL is switched is not required to be supplied from the circuit itself and a rush current generated in the circuit can be remarkably decreased, realizing a voltage generating circuit with low power consumption. Moreover, a conventionally used complementary circuit for amplifying an electric current constituted by a transistor or the like is not required, thus reducing the cost. Furthermore, the electric power consumed by the transistors in the conventional example is not required, so that the electric power can be reduced. Thus, the voltage generating circuit consumes a small amount of electric power, so that the substrate used therein can be miniaturized and a device provided with the voltage generating circuit can be made thin.
  • When the present invention is applied to the common electrode drive circuit or the gray-scale voltage generating circuit of the display device in which a rush current causes the strain of a voltage waveform to decrease a display quality, the display quality can be improved while low electric power is consumed. In particular, when the present invention is applied to the common electrode drive circuit and the gray-scale voltage generating circuit of the display device, the low power consumption and the improved display quality can be further effectively obtained.
  • Example 14
  • Figure 23 is a circuit diagram of a gray-scale voltage generating circuit P1 (corresponding to the reference numeral 420 of Figure 24) provided in a source driver 220 (see Figure 24) of the present example. Figure 24 is a block diagram of an active matrix liquid crystal display device (hereinafter, referred to as a display device) using the source driver 220. Figure 25 is a block diagram of the source driver 220. The present example is characterized by the structure of the gray-scale voltage generating circuit P1 shown in Figure 23.
  • As shown in Figure 24, a display portion includes M x N pixel electrodes P(i, j) (i = 1, 2, ..., N; j = 1,2,...,M) arranged in M rows and N columns and switching elements T(i, j) (i = 1,2,...,N; j = 1,2,...,M) respectively connected to the pixel electrodes P(i, j). The source driver 220 and a gate driver 300 constitute a drive circuit for driving the display portion. N signal lines S(i) (i = 1,2,...,N) respectively connect output terminals of the source driver 220 to the switching elements T(i, j). M scanning lines G(j) (j = 1,2,...,M) in the display portion respectively connect output terminals of the gate driver 300 to the switching elements T(i, j).
  • A thin film transistor (TFT) can be used as the switching element T(i, j). Other kinds of switching elements can also be used. Hereinafter, the TFT is exemplified, so that the scanning line G(j) is referred to as a gate line G(j).
  • A voltage is successively output to the gate line G(j) from the gate driver 300 through the output terminal G(j). This voltage is at a high level for a particular period (hereinafter, referred to as one horizontal scanning period (j)th (j = 1,2,...,M)). With respect to the variable j = 1,2,...,M, the total periods of the respective horizontal scanning period (j)th are referred to as one vertical scanning period.
  • When a voltage level of a gate signal output to the gate line G(j) is high, the switching element T(i, j) is in an ON state. When the switching element T(i, j) is in an ON state, the pixel electrode F(i, j) is charged in accordance with a voltage output from the output terminal of the source driver 220 to the signal line S(i). The level of the charged voltage is retained at a predetermined one during one vertical scanning period and a voltage at this level is applied to the pixel electrode P(i, j).
  • Figure 25 is a block diagram showing the internal structure (fundamental structure) of the source driver 220. Hereinafter, the case where image data is made of 3 bits (D 0 , D 1 , D 2 ) will be exemplified. More specifically, the image data has 8 kinds of values (i.e., 0 to 7), and a signal voltage to be given to each pixel electrode P(i, j) is as follows: any one of 4 levels of external gray-scale voltages v 0 , v 2 , v 5 , and v 7 from the external gray-scale power supplies V 0 , V 2 , V 5 , and V 7 in the external gray-scale voltage generating circuit P1, or one or more of gray-scale voltages between any two of the external gray-scale voltages v 0 , v 2 , v 5 , and v 7 .
  • The source driver 220 is provided for the bits (D 0 , D 1 , D 2 ) of image data, including the first-stage sampling flip-flops M SMP for a sampling operation, the second-stage D-type flip-flops M H for a holding operation, the selection control circuit SCOL, and the analog switches ASW 0 , ASW 2 , ASW 5 , and ASW 7 provided between the signal line S(i) and the four kinds of external gray-scale power supplies V 0 , V 2 , V 5 , and V 7 . The analog switches ASW 0 to ASW 7 are provided with the external gray-scale voltages v 0 , v 2 , v 5 , and v 7 and control signals from the output terminals S 0 , S 2 , S 5 , and S 7 of the selection control circuit SCOL. The selection control circuit SCOL is provided with a signal t 3 having a predetermined duty ratio.
  • In order to realize an 8-gray-scale display in the source driver 220 of Figure 25, the number of the external gray-scale power supplies is reduced to half (i.e., 4) of the conventional example shown in Figure 55. In the source driver 220, outputs from the gray-scale power supplies V 1 , V 3 , V 4 , and V 6 are formed by an oscillating voltage driving method.
  • The relation between the image data input to the source driver 220 of Figure 25 and the gray-scale voltage obtained from the source driver 220 is shown in Table 1.
  • When the value of image data is either of 1, 2, 5, or 7, either one of the external gray-scale voltages v 0 , v 2 , v 5 , and v 7 is output to the signal line S(i). When the value of image data is other than 1, 2, 5, and 7, a voltage oscillating between any two of the external gray-scale voltages v 0 , v 2 , v 5 , and v 7 is output to the signal line S(i). In this way, 8 gray-scale display levels can be obtained from 4 levels of the external gray-scale power supplies.
  • Hereinafter, an oscillating voltage driving method will be described.
  • Figure 26 shows (1) an output waveform corresponding to the external gray-scale voltage v 1 and (2) a waveform of the external gray-scale voltages v 0 and v 2 . That is, an oscillating voltage, which oscillates a plurality of times between the external gray-scale voltages v 0 and v 2 during one output period such as one horizontal scanning period, is output. A low pass filter (LPF) is formed due to the resistance and capacitance of wirings between the source driver and the pixels constituting the display panel. Thus, the oscillating voltage passes through the LPF, whereby the gray-scale voltage v 1 is given to a pixel as an average value of the oscillating voltage.
  • Figure 27 shows an example of waveforms of the external gray-scale voltages v 0 and v 7 together with a common electrode drive signal v com . Figure 27 shows waveforms in the case of a line inversion (the polarity of a voltage is inverted per horizontal scanning period). As shown in this figure, the polarity of the external gray-scale voltage v 0 is opposite to that of the common electrode drive signal. Both of these waveforms are rectangular and these waveforms are inverted at the same point. When the image data is 0, the capacitance of a liquid crystal layer or the like is charged with a voltage between the gray-scale voltage v 0 and the common electrode drive signal v com .
  • In the gray-scale voltage generating circuit P1 shown in Figure 23, a power supply 7 outputs a rectangular wave or a waveform similar thereto. The power supply 7 may have the same structure as that of the power supply circuit shown in Figure 57. The output from the power supply 7 is input to the respective input terminals of the switches SW 1 and SW 2 . Output terminals of the switches SW 1 and SW 2 are respectively connected to a predetermined reference electric potential V cns through capacitors C 1 and C 2 . The switch SW 1 is turned to be a conductive state or a non-conductive state by the control signal POL, and the switch SW 2 is turned to be a conductive state or a non-conductive state by an inversion signal POL which is inverted by an inverter 8. The switches SW 1 and SW 2 are turned to be a conductive state or a non-conductive state in a complementary manner only in either a positive time period or a negative time period.
  • Figure 28 shows a timing chart of the control signal POL. The operation of the gray-scale voltage generating circuit P1 of Figure 23 will be described based on the waveform of the control signal POL of Figure 28. The control signal POL shows the time when a pixel is charged with a positive voltage or a negative voltage. The control signal POL at a high level shows the time when a pixel is charged with a positive voltage, and the control signal POL at a low level shows the time when a pixel is charged with a negative voltage. The power supply 7 switches an output voltage between a positive level and a negative level, based on the control signal POL.
  • Referring to Figure 23, when the control signal POL is at a high level, the switch SW 1 is in an ON state and the capacitor C 1 is connected to the power supply 7. During this time, the capacitor C 1 absorbs or supplies a charge based on the current fluctuation. On the other hand, during this time, the switch SW 2 is in an OFF state and the capacitor C 2 is disconnected from the power supply 7. Thus, the capacitor C 2 does not become a load for the power supply 7.
  • When the control signal POL is at a low level, the switch SW 1 is in an OFF state; and the capacitor C 1 is disconnected from the power source 7. Thus, in this case, the capacitor C 1 does not become a load for the power supply 7. On the other hand, during this time, the switch SW 2 is in an ON state, the capacitor C 2 is connected to the power source 7, and the capacitor C 2 absorbs or supplies a charge based on the current fluctuation.
  • As described above, in the gray-scale voltage generating circuit P1 of the present example, once the capacitors C 1 and C 2 are charged to an electric potential supplied from the power supply 7, the capacitors C 1 and C 2 are neither charged nor discharged while the output from the power supply 7 is switched between a positive level and a negative level. There is no possibility that these capacitors C 1 and C 2 become a load for the power supply 7 which outputs a voltage in a rectangular waveform. Thus, capacitors having such a large capacitance as to absorb the rapid fluctuation of a current and a voltage due to the load can be selected as the capacitors C 1 and C 2 .
  • In the present example, the capacitors C 1 and C 2 are charged to the intended electric potential only once at the beginning of the operation of the gray-scale voltage generating circuit P1. However, the capacitors C 1 and C 2 may be charged throughout a plurality of positive or negative time periods, whereby the capacitors C 1 and C 2 are gradually charged to the intended electric potential.
  • Example 15
  • Figure 29 shows the structure of a gray-scale voltage generating circuit P2 (corresponding to the reference numeral 420 of Figure 24) of the present example. Components identical with those in Example 14 bear the identical reference numerals.
  • The gray-scale voltage generating circuit P2 is characterized in that field effect transistors (FETs) are used as the switches SW 1 and SW 2 and the control signal POL and the inverted signal thereof are respectively input to gates of the switches SW 1 and SW 2 through a level shift circuit 9. The FET allows a current to flow bidirectionally and has a remarkably small ON resistance; for this reason, the FET is suitable for the switches SW 1 and SW 2 of the present example. The level shift circuit 9 converts the control signal POL and the inverted signal thereof, which are provided at a logic level, into a signal level suitable for the control of the FET. The level shift circuit 9 is not necessary depending upon the characteristics of the FET to be used.
  • In the gray-scale voltage generating circuit P2 with the above-mentioned structure, the same effects as those of Example 14 can be obtained.
  • Example 16
  • Figure 30 shows the structure of a gray-scale voltage generating circuit P3 (corresponding to the reference numeral 420 of Figure 24) of the present example. Components with those of Example 14 bear the identical reference numerals.
  • The gray-scale voltage generating circuit P3 is characterized in that a gray-scale power supply circuit 14 and a common electrode drive circuit 10 are provided, a series circuit including a switch SW 11 , a capacitor C 1 , and a switch SW 12 and a series circuit including a switch SW 21 , a capacitor C 2 , and a switch SW 22 are respectively connected between the gray-scale power supply circuit 14 and the common electrode drive circuit 10.
  • The display portion 5 shown in Figure 24 is driven by a drive voltage oscillating between a common voltage v com from the common electrode drive circuit 10 and the external gray-scale voltage output through the source driver 220. Thus, the structure of the gray-scale voltage generating circuit P3 is more simplified, compared with the case where the gray-scale voltage vn (n = 0, 2, 5, 7) and the common voltage v com are respectively formed by different circuits. In addition, the precision at which each of these signals is synchronized can be much improved.
  • According to the present example, the same effects as those in Example 14 can be obtained. In particular, the present example has its own effect that the structure of the gray-scale voltage generating circuit P3 is simplified.
  • Example 17
  • Figure 31 shows the structure of a gray-scale voltage generating circuit P4 (corresponding to the reference numeral 420 of Figure 24) of the present example. Components identical with those of Example 14 bear the identical reference numerals.
  • The gray-scale voltage generating circuit P4 is characterized in that a pair of gray-scale power supply circuits 12a and 12b which respectively output the external gray-scale voltages v 0 and v 2 are provided, and the series circuit including the switch SW 11 , the capacitor C 1 , and the switch SW 12 and the series circuit including the switch SW 21 , the capacitor C 2 , and the switch SW 22 are respectively connected between the gray-scale power supply circuits 12a and 12b. An oscillating voltage used for the above-mentioned oscillating voltage driving method is formed between the pair of external gray-scale voltages.
  • Thus, a power supply circuit with a structure similar to that of the gray-scale voltage generating circuit P4 shown in Figure 31 may be provided between each pair of external gray-scale voltages v 0 , v 2 ; v 2 , v 5 ; v 5 , v 7 which is required for forming the gray-scale voltages v 1 ; v 3 , v 4 ; and v 6 shown in Table 1. The gray-scale voltage generating circuit P4 of the present example corresponds to a pair of external gray-scale power supplies V 0 and V 2 among pairs of the external gray-scale power supplies V 0 , V 2 ; V 2 , V 5 ; V 5 , V 7 .
  • According to the present example, the same effects as those of the Example 14 can be obtained.
  • The fundamental operation of each of the above-mentioned Examples 14 to 17 is as follows: The capacitors C 1 and C 2 are connected to or disconnected from the power supply circuit at the same time with the switching between a positive level and a negative level of the output voltage from the power supply circuit. For practical application, it is desired that the disconnection is conducted right before the switching and the connection is conducted when an appropriate period of time elapses after the switching; more specifically, the connection is conducted after a transition period following the switching.
  • Example 18
  • Figure 32 is a circuit diagram showing the structure of a gray-scale voltage generating circuit P5 (corresponding to the reference numeral 420 of Figure 24) of the present example. The gray-scale voltage generating circuit P5 has the same structure as that of the gray-scale voltage generating circuit P1 shown in Figure 23 except that the switching operations of the switches SW 1 and SW 2 are independently controlled by control signals SON 1 and SON 2 . Figure 33 shows the relation among the control signals SON 1 , SON 2 , and POL. The control signal POL of Figure 33 is the same as the control signal POL of Figure 28. The polarity of the output voltage from the gray-scale voltage generating circuit P5 is inverted to a positive state or a negative state, synchronized with the rise and fall of the control signal POL.
  • The control signals SON 1 and SON 2 are formed by a signal generating circuit 13, based on the control signal POL. When the control signals SON 1 and SON 2 are respectively at a high level, the switches SW1 and SW 2 are respectively in an ON state and the capacitors C 1 and C 2 are connected to the power supply 7. In the present example, the disconnection of the switch SW 1 is conducted at a timing faster by a period T1 than the timing at which the control signal POL is switched from a high level to a low level. The connection of the switch SW 1 is conducted after the elapse of a period L 1 following the time at which the control signal POL is switched from a low level to a high level. The period L 1 corresponds to a period during which a transition period right after the switching has almost been finished and the level of the output voltage becomes stable.
  • In the signal generating circuit 13, the timing for the rise of the control signal SON 1 is set so that the control signal SON 1 rises after the period L 1 elapses following the rise of the control signal POL. The timing for the fall of the control signal SON 1 is set so that the control signal SON 1 falls after the period L 2 elapses following the rise of the control signal POL. The period L 2 is set so as to be shorter by a predetermined period T 1 than a rise period H 1 of the control signal POL.
  • The timing for the rise of the control signal SON 2 is set so that the control signal SON 2 rises after a period L 3 elapses following the fall of the control signal POL. The period L 3 is equal to or nearly equal to the period L 1 . The timing for the fall of the control signal SON 2 is set so that the control signal SON 2 falls after a period L 4 elapses following the rise of the control signal POL. The period L 4 is set so as to be shorter by the period T 1 than the fall period H 2 of the control signal POL. The period H 2 is equal to or nearly equal to the period H 1 .
  • According to the present example, the same effects as those of Example 18 can be obtained. Further, the control signals SON 1 and SON 2 are set as described above, whereby the display quality can be remarkably improved in the display device shown in Figure 24.
  • Example 19
  • Figure 34 is a circuit diagram of a gray-scale voltage generating circuit P6 (corresponding to the reference numeral 420 of Figure 24) of the present example. The gray-scale voltage generating circuit P6 has a structure similar to that of the gray-scale voltage generating circuit P3 of Example 16. Components identical with those of Example 16 bear the identical reference numerals.
  • The power supply circuit P6 is characterized in that an output line of the gray-scale power supply circuit 14 is commonly connected to each input terminal of the switches SW 1 and SW 3 , and an output line of the common electrode drive circuit 10 is commonly connected to each output terminal of the switches SW 2 and SW 4 . The respective output terminals of the switches SW 1 and SW 3 are connected to the respective input terminals of the switches SW 2 and SW 4 . A capacitor C is connected between the respective output terminals of the switches SW 1 and SW 3 .
  • In the present example, the control signal CON 1 which is the same as that shown in Figure 33 is used for controlling the on/off operation of the switches SW 1 and SW 4 and the control signal CON 2 is used for controlling the on/off operation of the switches SW 2 and SW 3 .
  • In the present example, when the control signal CON 1 is at a high level and the control signal CON 2 is at a low level, the switches SW 1 and SW 4 are in an ON state, the switches SW 2 and SW 3 are in an OFF state, an electrode CL of the capacitor C on the side of the switch SW 1 is connected to the gray-scale power supply circuit 14, and an electrode CR of the capacitor C on the side of the switch SW 3 is connected to the common electrode drive circuit 10. The time period in which the control signal CON 1 is at a high level corresponds to a positive time period. This means that the gray-scale power supply circuit 14 outputs a positive voltage to the common electrode drive circuit 10. That is, the electrode CL is provided with a positive polarity and the electrode CR is provided with a negative polarity.
  • When the control signal CON 1 is at a low level and the control signal CON 2 is at a high level, the switches SW 1 and SW 4 are in an OFF state, the switches SW 2 and SW 3 are in an ON state, the electrode CL is connected to the common electrode drive circuit 10, and the electrode CR is connected to the gray-scale power supply circuit 14. The time period in which the control signal CON 2 is at a high level corresponds to a negative time period. This means that the gray-scale power supply circuit 14 outputs a negative voltage to the common electrode drive circuit 10. Thus, the electrode CL is provided with a positive polarity and the electrode CR is provided with a negative polarity, in the same way as in the control signal CON 1 at a high level and the control signal CON 2 at a low level.
  • According to the present example, in either a positive time period or a negative time period, the capacitor C can sufficiently absorb or supply a charge with respect to the rapid fluctuation of a current or a voltage due to the load of the gray-scale power supply circuit 14 and the common electrode drive circuit 10.
  • As described above, according to each of Examples 14 to 19, a charge storage unit (capacitor), which has a large capacitance sufficient for absorbing the change in a current in a positive time period or a negative time period, without becoming a load on the power supply circuit outputting an A.C. voltage having a rectangular wave, etc., can be realized. A power supply capable of minimizing the fluctuation of a voltage in a positive or a negative time period can be realized. Because of this, the problem of shadowing is solved; the display quality of a display device, in particular, using the oscillating voltage driving method can be remarkably improved.
  • The shadowing will be briefly described. The shadowing is caused in the case where a plurality of pixels in one horizontal line are supplied with different voltages. The voltage applied to a pixel affects the voltage applied to another pixel. The shadowing is caused particularly in a display device using an oscillating voltage driving method. The case where the gray-scale voltages v 1 and v 5 are applied to pixels in one horizontal line is exemplified. Since the gray-scale voltage v 1 is an interpolated voltage made of an oscillating voltage, its waveform does not have an ideal rectangular shape as shown in Figure 58. The fluctuation of this waveform affects the waveform of the gray-scale voltage v 5 which is not made of an oscillating voltage. However, as described above, according to the present invention, the fluctuation of a voltage can be minimized, preventing the shadowing.
  • It is noted that the present invention can be applied to the conventional drive circuit for a display panel, using the source driver with the structure as shown in Figure 55 which does not perform a gray-scale interpolation by the oscillating voltage driving method.
  • There is no special limit to the structure of an internal circuit of the power supply 7, the gray-scale power supply circuit 14, and the common electrode drive circuit 10. Each of the power supply 7, the gray-scale power supply circuit 14, and the common electrode drive circuit 10 may have a structure as shown in Figure 57 or other structures. Examples of the other structures include those disclosed in the related art of the present applicant. Alternatively, the conventional drive circuit shown in Figure 55 may be used. In this case, a great effect of preventing the generation of shadowing or the like can be obtained.
  • Example 20
  • Figure 35 shows an example of a power supply circuit diagram of the present invention used in Example 20. The present example is characterized by the structure of a gray-scale voltage generating circuit 11 shown in Figure 35.
  • The gray-scale voltage generating circuit 11 is used for a gray-scale display of a source driver in a flat type display device such as a liquid crystal display device or for driving a common electrode. The gray-scale voltage generating circuit 11 is provided with a voltage source and a storage unit such a capacitor. The connection and disconnection between the voltage source and the storage unit is controlled by a switching element. When being disconnected from the voltage source, the storage unit is connected to another circuit having a certain electric potential. Because of this, part of the charge and discharge current between the power supply and the load can be supplied from the storage unit, in the case where the level of an output from the power supply is switched.
  • As shown in Figure 24, a display portion includes M x N pixel electrodes P(i, j) (i = 1, 2, ..., N; j = 1,2,...,M) arranged in M rows and N columns and a switching elements T(i, j) (i = 1,2,...,N; j = 1,2,...,M) respectively connected to the pixel electrodes P(i, j). The source driver 220 and a scanning circuit 300 constitute a drive circuit for driving the display portion. N signal lines S(i) (i = 1,2,...,N) in the display portion respectively connect output terminals of the source driver 220 to the switching elements T(i, j). M scanning lines G(j) (j = 1,2,...,M) in the display portion respectively connect output terminals of the gate driver 300 to the switching elements T(i, j).
  • A thin film transistor (TFT) can be used as the switching element T(i, j). Other kinds of switching elements can also be used. Hereinafter, the TFT is exemplified, so that the scanning line G(j) is referred to as a gate line G(j).
  • A voltage is successively output to the gate line G(j) from the gate driver 300 through the output terminal G(j). This voltage is at a high level for a particular period (hereinafter, referred to as one horizontal scanning period (j)th (j = 1,2,..., M)). With respect to the variable j = 1,2,...,M, the total periods of the respective horizontal period (j)th are referred to as one vertical scanning period.
  • When a voltage level of a gate signal output to the gate line G(j) is high, the switching element T(i, j) is in an ON state. When the switching element T(i, j) is in an ON state, the pixel electrode P(i, j) is charged in accordance with a voltage output from the output terminal of the source driver 220 to the signal line S(i). The level of the charged voltage is retained at a predetermined one during one vertical scanning period and a voltage at this level is applied to the pixel electrode P(i, j).
  • Figure 36 is a block diagram showing an internal structure (fundamental structure) of the source driver 220. Hereinafter, the case where image data is made of 3 bits (D 0 , D 1 , D 2 ) will be exemplified. More specifically, the image data has 8 gray scale values (i.e., 0 to 7), and a signal voltage to be given to each pixel electrode is as follows: any one of 4 levels of external gray-scale voltages v 0 , v 2 , v 5 , and v 7 from the external gray-scale power supplies V 0 , V 2 , V 5 , and V 7 in the external gray-scale voltage generating circuit 11, or one or more gray-scale voltages between any two of the external gray-scale voltages v 0 , v 2 , v 5 , and v 7 .
  • The source driver 220 is provided for the bits (D 0 , D 1 , D 2 ) of image data, including the first-stage D-type flip-flops M SMP for a sampling operation, the second-stage D-type flip-flops M H for a holding operation, the selection control circuit SCOL, and the analog switches ASW 0 , ASW 2 , ASW 5 , and ASW 7 provided between the signal line S(i) and the four kinds of external gray-scale power supplies V 0 , V 2 , V 5 , and V 7 . The analog switches ASW 0 to ASW7 are provided with the external gray-scale voltages v 0 , v 2 , v 5 , and v 7 and the control signals output from output terminals S 0 , S 2 , S 5 , and S 7 of the selection control circuit SCOL. The selection control circuit SCOL is provided with the duty signal t 3 having a predetermined duty ratio.
  • In order to realize an 8-gray-scale display in the source driver 220 of Figure 36, the number of the external gray-scale power supplies is reduced to half (i.e., 4) of the conventional example shown in Figure 55. In the source driver 220, outputs from the gray-scale power supplies V 1 , V 3 , V 4 , and V 6 are formed by the oscillating voltage driving method.
  • When the value of image data is 1, 2, 5, or 7, one of the external gray-scale voltages v 0 , v 2 , v 5 , and v 7 is output to the signal line S(i). When the value of image data is other than 1, 2, 5, and 7, an oscillating signal having an appropriate oscillating frequency and a duty ratio is formed based on any two of the external gray-scale voltages v 0 , v 2 , v 5 , and v 7 and the duty signal t 3 . Based on the oscillating frequency and duty ratio of the oscillating signal, an oscillating voltage oscillating between any two of the external gray-scale voltages v 0 , v 2 , v 5 , and v 7 is output to the signal line S(i). If this oscillating voltage is averaged in terms of time, voltages equal to the gray-scale voltages v 1 , v 3 , v 4 , and v 6 can be obtained. In this way, 8-gray-scale display levels can be obtained from 4 levels of the external gray-scale power supplies.
  • Figure 35 shows the structure of the gray-scale voltage generating circuit 11 provided in the source driver 220. The gray-scale voltage generating circuit 11 includes the power supply 17 to which the control signal POL which is switched between a high level and a low level per horizontal scanning period H. The power supply 17 outputs a power supply voltage having a rectangular waveform or an A.C. waveform similar thereto. The power supply 17 may have a structure similar to that of the power supply circuit shown in Figure 57. A power supply line 18 connects the power supply 17 to a load 19. The load 19 includes the data line Oi, each switching element T(i, j), and each pixel electrode P(i, j).
  • One terminal 20a of the capacitor C 1 is connected to the power supply line 18 through the switch SW 1 , and the other terminal 20b of the capacitor C 1 is connected to a power supply 25 which outputs a predetermined electric potential V y . One terminal 21a of the capacitor C 2 is connected to the power supply line 18 through the switch SW 2 , and the other terminal 21b of the capacitor C 2 is connected to the power supply 25. Further, the terminal 20a of the capacitor C 1 is connected through the switch SW 3 to the power supply 26 which outputs a predetermined electric potential V y1 , and the terminal 21a of the capacitor C 2 is connected through the switch SW 4 to the power supply 27 which outputs a predetermined electric potential V y2 .
  • The control signal POL is generated by a control circuit 620 which is provided in the source driver 220. The control signal POL is input to the power supply 17 and then to the switches SW 1 and SW 4 as a control signal for switching between an ON state (conductive state) and an OFF state (non-conductive state) of the switches SW 1 and SW 4 . The control signal POL has its polarity inverted by an inversion circuit 22 per horizontal scanning period H, and an inverted control signal POL is input to the switches SW 2 and SW 3 as a control signal for switching between an ON state and an OFF state of the switches SW 2 and SW 3 . Each of the switches SW 1 to SW 4 is in an ON state when the control signal POL or the inverted control signal POL is at a high level and is in an OFF state when the control signal POL or the inverted control signal POL is at a low level. It is also possible that each of the switches SW 1 to SW 4 is in an OFF state when the control signal POL or the inverted control signal POL is at a low level and is in an ON state when the control signal POL or the inverted control signal POL is at a high level.
  • As described above, the switches SW 1 and SW 2 are in an ON state and the capacitors C 1 and C 2 are connected to the power supply line 18, while the control signal POL is at a high level or at a low level. The capacitors C 1 and C 2 are respectively connected to the power supplies 26 and 27 by the switches SW 3 and SW 4 , when being disconnected from the power supply line 18 extending from the power supply 17 by the switches SW 1 and SW 2 .
  • In the present example, irrespective of the structure of the power supply 17, the peak current characteristics of a current from the gray-scale voltage generating circuit 11 to the load 19 can be made small. In the following description, the power supply 17 is assumed to have the same structure as that of the power supply circuit shown in Figure 57.
  • Figure 37 is a timing chart illustrating the operation of the gray-scale voltage generating circuit 11 shown in Figure 35. Here, the case where the control signal POL is at a high level corresponds to the case where the pixel P shown in Figure 35 is positively charged, and the case where the control signal POL is at a low level corresponds to the case where the pixel P is negatively charged. The power supply 17 switches the polarity of the output voltage based on the level of the control signal POL.
  • In Figure 37, When the control signal POL is at a low level, the output voltage of the power supply 17 becomes negative, the switches SW 2 and SW 3 are turned on, and the switches SW 1 and SW 4 are turned off. As a result, the capacitor C 1 is charged with the electric potential V y1 which is set to be a level in the vicinity of that of the output voltage from the power supply 17 in a positive time period. At this time, the capacitor C 2 is connected to the power supply line 18.
  • Then, the control signal POL becomes a high level, the output voltage from the power supply 17 becomes positive, the switches SW 1 and SW 4 are turned on, and the switches SW 2 and SW 3 are turned off. When the switch SW 1 is turned on, the capacitor C 1 is connected to the power supply line 18 and is charged with the output potential from the power supply 17. At this time, the capacitor C 1 is charged with the electric potential V y1 , thus constituting a circuit, which supplies or absorbs a charge, between the power supply 17 and the load 19 containing the signal line S(i) or the like shown in Figure 58. Thus, in the case where a charge current or a discharge current of the load 19 is rapidly fluctuated, the fluctuated current can be supplied by the power supply 17 and the capacitor C 1 . The capacitor C 2 is charged with an electric potential V y2 which is set to be a level in the vicinity of that of the output voltage from the power supply 17 in a negative time period.
  • When the control signal POL becomes a low level again, the output voltage from the power supply 17 becomes negative, the switches SW 2 and SW 3 are turned on, and the switches SW 1 and SW 4 are turned off. As a result, the capacitor C 1 is charged with the electric potential V y1 which is set to be a level in the vicinity of that of the output voltage from the power supply 17 in a positive time period. The capacitor C 2 is connected to the power supply line 18. At this time, the capacitor C 2 in addition to the power supply 17 constitutes a circuit, which supplies a charge to the load 19 or absorbs a charge therefrom.
  • Thus, while being disconnected from the power supply 17, the capacitor C 1 is charged with the electric potential V y1 whose level is in the vicinity of that of the voltage output from the power supply 17 during this period. Because of this, part of a charge and discharge current, which is used at the time when the power supply voltage from the power supply 17 is inverted between the first level and the second level, is supplied from the capacitor C 1 . Owing to this structure, a simplified and miniaturized power supply with a small current capacity can be used as the power supply 17. Consequently, a simplified and miniaturized power supply circuit having a small current capacity and a low current consumption can be realized as the gray-scale voltage generating circuit 11.
  • Example 21
  • Figure 38 shows a circuit diagram of a gray-scale voltage generating circuit 11a of the present example. Components identical with those of Example 20 bear the identical reference numerals. In the present example, FETs are used as transistors Tr 1 , Tr 2 , Tr 3 , and Tr 4 provided between the power supply 17 and the respective capacitors C 1 and C 2 . The control signal POL and the inverted control signal POL are converted from the TTL (Transistor-Transistor Logic) level (for example) to that suitable for the control of the FETs by a level conversion circuit 24.
  • A resistor r 1 is connected in series between the transistor Tr 1 and the power supply line 18, and a resistor r 2 is connected in series between the transistor Tr 2 and the power supply line 18. These resistors r 1 and r 2 are provided for restricting the current. The purpose for providing these resistors r 1 and r 2 is to restrict the flow of a current out of or into the capacitors C 1 and C 2 , thereby preventing the sudden flow of a large current. Thus, the damages to the transistors Tr 1 and Tr 2 and the load 19 such as the signal line S(i) are prevented from being caused. In addition, even when a large current is generated in the capacitors C 1 and C 2 , the waste consumption of the current due to the absorption of the large current by the power supply 17 is prevented. In some cases, for example, depending upon the characteristics of the FET or other switching elements to be used, the resistors r 1 and r 2 are not required. The level conversion circuit 24 is not required depending upon the characteristics of the FET to be used.
  • The following description is related to Examples 20 and 21.
  • The electric potentials V y , V y1 , and V y2 of the power supply voltages respectively output from the power supplies 25, 26, and 27 will be described in detail. It is desired that the power supply circuit 26 outputs the electric potential V y1 close to the electric potential in the case where the output from the power supply 17 is in a positive time period. On the other hand, it is desired that the power supply circuit 27 outputs the electric potential V y2 close to the electric potential in the case where the output from the power supply 17 is in a negative time period. Further, it is desired that the electric potential V y output from the power supply 25 is between the electric potentials V y1 and V y2 . Thus, in the display device 12 including the gray-scale voltage generating circuits 11 and 11a, the existing power supply can be used as the power supplies 25, 26, and 27.
  • For practical use, the electric potentials V y , V y1 , and V y2 are not required to be restricted to the above-mentioned desired ones. As long as part of the charge and discharge current between the load 19 and the power supply 17 at the time of switching between a positive time period and a negative time period of the power supply voltage from the power supply 17 can be compensated as described above, there is no strict limit to the electric potentials V y , V y1 , and V y2 .
  • Example 22
  • Figure 39 shows a circuit diagram of a gray-scale voltage generating circuit 11b of the present example. As the electric potential V y , electric potentials V y1 and V y2 are used. In the gray-scale voltage generating circuit 11b, the electric potential V y1 is set at 0 V and the electric potential V y2 is set at V DD (+5 V).
  • In the present example, when the control signal POL is at a low level, the output voltage from the power supply 17 becomes negative, the transistors Tr 2 and Tr 3 are turned on, and the transistors Tr 1 and Tr 4 are turned off. Because of this, the capacitor C 1 is charged with a voltage between the electric potential V y1 and the ground electric potential, where the voltage V y1 is set so as to be close to that of the output voltage from the power supply 17 in a positive time period. The capacitor C 2 is connected to the power supply line 18.
  • Then, the control signal POL becomes a high level, the output voltage from the power source 17 becomes positive, the transistors Tr 1 and Tr 4 are turned on, and the transistors Tr 2 and Tr 3 are turned off. When the transistor Tr 1 is turned on, the capacitor C 1 is connected to the power supply line 18 and is charged with the output electric potential from the power supply 17. Here, the capacitor C 1 is charged with a voltage between the electric potential V y1 and the ground electric potential; therefore, the capacitor C 1 in addition to the power supply 17 constitutes a circuit, which supplies a charge to the load 19 including the signal line S(i) or the like shown in Figure 56 or absorbs a charge therefrom. Accordingly, in the case where the charge current or the discharge current of the load 19 is rapidly fluctuated, the fluctuated current is supplied from the power supply 17 and the capacitor C 1 . At this time, the capacitor C 2 is charged with a voltage between the electric potential V y2 and the drive electric potential V DD , where the electric potential V y2 is set so as to be close to that of the output voltage from the power supply 17 in a negative time period.
  • When the control signal POL becomes a low level again, the output voltage from the power supply 17 becomes negative, the transistors Tr 2 and Tr 3 are turned on, and the transistors Tr 1 and Tr 4 are turned off. Because of this, the capacitor C 1 is charged with a voltage between the electric potential V y1 and the ground electric potential. The capacitor C 2 is connected to the power supply line 18. At this time, the capacitor C 2 in addition to the power supply 17 constitutes a circuit, which supplies a charge to the load 19 or absorbs a charge therefrom.
  • As described above, even when the gray-scale voltage generating circuit 11b having a structure shown in Figure 39 is used, the effects described in Example 21 can be obtained. Further, the ground electric potential and the drive voltage V DD are used as the electric potential V y , so that it is not required to use another circuit as the electric potential V y , simplifying the structure of the gray-scale voltage generating circuit 11b.
  • In Examples 20 to 22, the current capacity characteristic with respect to the peak current of the power supply can be remarkably suppressed. In each of the examples, the power supply can include a less expensive operation amplifier having a small through rate. Thus, according to the specification of the operation amplifier, the current amplifier circuit is not required and the overall structure is simplified, miniaturized, and made less expensive. In addition, waste power consumption is minimized to realize a power supply circuit having a small power consumption.
  • Example 23
  • Figure 40 is a circuit diagram showing an electrical structure of the gray-scale voltage generating circuit 11c of the present example. Components identical with those of Example 22 bear the identical reference numerals. The present example is characterized as follows:
  • The gray-scale voltage generating circuit of the present example includes two D.C. power supplies, switches, and capacitors respectively connected to a power supply line connected to the output side of the switches. The two D.C. power supplies are switched by means of the switches, whereby an A.C. voltage can be generated as an output from the gray-scale voltage generating circuit. In addition, the timing of connecting the capacitors to the power source line and the timing of switching the switches are appropriately regulated. Because of this structure, when the output voltage is switched between a positive state and a negative state in the power supply line, all or almost all of the suddenly generated charge and discharge current (peak current) of the load can be supplied from the capacitors.
  • The gray-scale voltage generating circuit 11c includes two D.C. power supplies 17a and 17b. The D.C. power supply 17a outputs a predetermined electric potential V 1 , and the D.C. power supply 17b outputs a predetermined electric potential V 2 which is different from the electric potential V 1 . These electric potentials V 1 and V 2 may have the same absolute values and have opposite polarities to each other.
  • A power supply line 28 extending from the D.C. power supply 17a is connected to a power supply 31 through a capacitor C 11 . A power supply line 29 extending from the D.C. power supply 17b is also connected to a power supply 31 through a capacitor C 12 . The power supply 31 outputs a predetermined electric potential V y . The capacitors C 11 and C 12 are respectively provided so as to be in parallel with the power supply lines 28 and 29. The power supply lines 28 and 29 are connected to a common power supply line 30 respectively through switches SW 11 and SW 12 . The switches SW 11 and SW 12 are respectively turned on/off by control signals CS 11 and CS 12 (described later).
  • The common power supply line 30 is connected to the load 19. The common power supply line 30 is connected to the power supply 31 through series circuits respectively consisting of a switch SW 14 and a capacitor C 13 and a switch SW 16 and a capacitor C 14 . The terminal of the capacitor C 13 connected to the switch SW 14 is further connected to a power supply 32 through a switch SW 13 . The terminal of the capacitor C 14 connected to the switch SW 16 is further connected to the power supply 33 through a switch SW 15 . The power supplies 32 and 33 respectively output predetermined electric potentials V y1 and V y2 . The switches SW 13 , SW 14 , SW 15 , and SW 16 are respectively turned on/off by control signals CS 13 , CS 14 , CS 15 , and CS 16 . The control signals CS 11 to CS 16 are generated in a signal generating circuit 34 so as to have a timing of switching between a high level and a low level (described later) based on the control signal POL.
  • Figure 41 is a timing chart illustrating the operation of the gray-scale voltage generating circuit 11c of the present example. In this figure, (1) to (7) represent the timing relation between the control signal POL and the respective control signals CS 11 to CS 16 .
  • As is represented in (1), the control signal POL has a high level period and a low level period alternately per horizontal scanning period. More specifically the control signal POL rises at a time t 1 and falls at a time t 2 (one horizontal scanning period T 1 (H) corresponds to a period from the time t 1 to t 2 ) and then rises again after the subsequent horizontal scanning period T 2 (H). As is represented in (2), the control signal CS 11 rises at a time t 3 (i.e., after a predetermined delay period T 3 from the time t 1 ) and falls together with the control signal POL. As is represented in (3), the control signal CS 12 falls together with the rise of the control signal POL and rises at a time t 4 (i.e., after a predetermined delay period T 4 from the time t 2 ). As is represented in (4), the control signal CS 13 falls together with the rise of the control signal POL and retains a low level during a period T 13 , that is, until the time t 3 . Then, the control signal CS 13 rises at the time t 3 and retains a high level until the control signal POL falls and rises again. As is represented in (5), the control signal CS 14 is an inverted signal of the control signal CS 13 . Thus, the control signal CS 14 retains a high level during a period T 14 (which is the same as the period T 13 ) and a low level while the control signal CS 13 retains a high level. As is represented in (6), the control signal CS 15 falls at the time t 2 and rises at the time t 4 , more specifically, the control signal CS 15 retains a low level during a period T 15 (from the time t 2 to t 4 ) and a high level during the other period. As is represented in (7), the control signal CS 16 is an inverted signal of the control signal CS 15 . Thus, the control signal CS 16 retains a low level while the control signal CS 15 retains a high level and a high level during a period T 16 (which is the same as the period T 15 ).
  • Hereinafter, the operation of the present example will be described.
  • When the control signal CS 11 is at a high level, the switch SW 11 is connected to the D.C. power supply 17a and the power supply electric potential V 1 corresponding to a positive polarity is output to the common power supply line 30. During this time, the switch SW 15 is also in an ON state, and the capacitor C 14 is charged with the electric potential V y2 which is set so as to be close to the power supply electric potential V 2 of the D.C. power supply 17b. At the time t 2 , the D.C. power supply 17a is disconnected from the common power supply line 30. At the time t 3 , the power supply 33 (electric potential V y2 ) is disconnected from the capacitor C 14 and the capacitor C 14 is connected to the common power supply line 30.
  • At this time, the capacitor C 14 is charged with the electric potential V y2 which is close to the power supply electric potential V 2 and the D.C. power supplies 17a and 17b are disconnected from the common power supply line 30. Thus, charging and discharging are effected only between the load 19 and the capacitor C 14 . After the period T 4 , in which the device is in a transient state, elapses, the switch SW 12 is turned on, the D.C. power supply 17b is connected to the common power supply line 30, and the power supply electric potential V 2 is output to the common power supply line 30. At this time, the capacitor C 14 is disconnected from the common power supply line 30 and is charged again with the power supply electric potential V y2 .
  • When the control signal POL is switched from a low level to a high level, the capacitor C 13 performs an operation similar to that described above with respect to the capacitor C 14 .
  • Accordingly, the periods T 3 and T 4 (where both of the D.C. power supplies 17a and 17b are disconnected from the common power supply line 30) are provided in timing where the D.C. power supply 17a is switched to the D.C. power supply 17b and in the timing where the D.C. power supply 17b is switched to the D.C. power supply 17a. During the periods T 3 and T 4 , the common power supply line 30 is connected to the capacitors C 13 and C 14 .
  • As described above, in the present example, the same effects as those in Examples 21 and 22 can be obtained. Particularly, in the present example, all of the peak currents generated in the common power supply line 30 in the case where the polarity of the power supply voltage supplied to the load 19 is switched can be supplied from the capacitors C 13 and C 14 . Because of this, the problem that the D.C. power supplies 17a and 17b should supply even part of the peak current has been solved. Therefore, the current capacity characteristics of the D.C. power supplies 17a and 17b can be remarkably suppressed.
  • Example 24
  • Figure 42 is a circuit diagram of a gray-scale voltage generating circuit 11d of the present example. Components identical with those of Example 23 bear the identical reference numerals. In the present example, transistors Tr 11 to Tr 16 made of FETs are used as the switches SW 11 to SW 16 of the gray-scale voltage generating circuit 11c. The transistors Tr 11 and Tr 12 are turned on/off by the control signals CS 11 and CS 12 . The transistors Tr 14 and Tr 16 are turned on/off by the control signals CS 14 and CS 16 . The transistors Tr 13 and Tr 15 are turned on/off by control signals CS 14 and CS 16 (which are obtained by inverting the control signals CS 14 and CS 16 with inversion circuits 35 and 36).
  • As shown in Figure 42, the transistors Tr 13 and Tr 14 are connected to a power supply 37 through the capacitor C 3 and the transistors Tr 15 and Tr 16 are connected to a power supply 37 through the capacitor C 4 . The power supply 37 outputs a predetermined electric potential Vy 3 . Resistors r 1 and r 2 are respectively connected between the common power supply line 30 and the transistor Tr 14 and between the common power supply line 30 and the transistor Tr 16 . The resistance values of the resistors r 1 and r 2 may be identical with each other. The resistors r 1 and r 2 restrict the current flowing from the capacitors C 3 and C 4 to the load 19. The resistors r 1 and r 2 are not required depending upon the ON resistance value of the switching elements such as TFTs to be used.
  • As described above, in the present example, the same effects as those of Examples 23 can be obtained.
  • Example 25
  • Figure 43 shows a circuit diagram of a power supply circuit 11e of the present example. In the power supply circuit 11e, a ground electric potential GND is used as the electric potential V y1 and the drive electric potential V DD is used as the electric potential V y2 . As the electric potential V y3 , two electric potentials V DD and GND are used. The capacitor C 3 is connected to the electric potential V DD and the capacitor C 4 is connected to the electric potential GND.
  • In Examples 23, 24, and 25, the electric potentials V y1 and V y2 are set so as to be close to the positive and negative electric potentials V 1 and V 2 of the output voltages from the D.C. power supplies 17a and 17b. For practical use, the electric potentials V y1 and V y2 are not required to be restricted in such a manner.
  • Example 26
  • Figure 44 is a circuit diagram of a power supply circuit 11f of the present example. Components identical with those of Example 25 bear the identical reference numerals. The power supply circuit 11f has the same structure as that of Example 25 with the following alterations:
  • The terminal of the transistor Tr 13 is connected to the power source line 29 extending from the D.C. power supply 17b instead of the ground electric potential GND. The terminal of the transistor Tr 15 is connected to the power supply line 28 extending from the D.C. power supply 17a instead of the drive electric potential V DD . The terminal of the capacitor C 3 is connected to the power supply line 28 instead of the drive electric potential v DD , and the terminal of the capacitor C 4 is connected to the power supply line 29 instead of the ground electric potential GND.
  • In the power supply circuit 11f with the above-mentioned structure, the same effects as those of Example 25 can be obtained.
  • In the gray-scale voltage generating circuits 11c to 11f of Examples 23 to 26, the following effects can be realized.
  • (1) Since the power supply circuit, which outputs an A.C. voltage having a rectangular wave or the like, has a structure including two D.C. power supplies 17a and 17b and two switching elements SW 11 and SW 12 , most of the charge and discharge current between the power supply circuit and the load, required in the case where the A.C. voltage is switched between a positive state and a negative state, can be supplied from the capacitors. Thus, the current capacity characteristics with respect to a peak current of the D.C. power supply for forming the rectangular wave can be substantially decreased.
  • (2) The current capacity characteristics can be decreased by 1/10 or more. Thus, the cost of the D.C. power supply can be greatly reduced.
  • (3) Withstanding the above, the gray-scale voltage generating circuits 11c to 11f of Examples 23 to 26 can have a rapid rise characteristic.
  • (4) Consequently, the display quality of the display device using the gray-scale voltage generating circuits 11c to 11f is improved.
  • (5) Further, the supply of a charge to the capacitors C 1 to C 4 and C 11 to C 14 can be performed by the gray-scale voltage generating circuits 11c to 11f, a circuit for generating a drive electric potential V DD , a circuit for supplying a drive electric potential V DD or a ground circuit in the display device 12 can be used. Because of this, another circuit for generating and supplying a power supply voltage, another ground circuit, or the like are not required to be provided, simplifying the circuit structure.
  • (6) In this case, the waste power consumption caused when a charge is supplied is minimized, and power consumed for driving the D.C. power supply itself becomes small. Thus, as a whole, the power consumption which is not substantially required for driving the display portion can be greatly reduced.
  • Example 27
  • Figure 45 shows the structure of a voltage generating circuit 43. A drive circuit 41 is connected to an output terminal V out through a switch SW 1 , and a power supply portion 42 is connected to the output terminal V out through a switch SW 2 . The drive circuit 41 is provided with a control signal POL (polarity inversion signal). The switch SW 2 is provided with a control signal DIS. The control signal DIS is inverted by an inverter INV and then input to the switch SW 1 . More specifically, when the switch SW 1 is in an ON state, the switch SW 2 is turned off, and when the switch SW 1 is in an OFF state, the switch SW 2 is turned on. It is desired that the switches SW 1 and SW 2 have the lowest possible ON resistance and a high OFF resistance.
  • Figure 46 shows a timing chart of each main portion of the voltage generating circuit 43 shown in Figure 45. The operation of the voltage generating circuit 43 will be described with reference to this figure.
  • In a line inversion drive, the control signal POL is inverted per horizontal scanning period. When the control signal POL is at a high level, which corresponds to the time period where a pixel is positively charged, the drive circuit 41 outputs a voltage V a1 . When the control signal, POL is at a low level, which corresponds to the time period where a pixel is negatively charged, the drive circuit 41 outputs a voltage V a2 . Thus, a voltage V a output from the drive circuit 41 is a rectangular waveform made of the voltages V a1 and V a2 . The control signal DIS becomes a high level for a predetermined period, synchronized with the timing at which the inversion signal POL is switched from a high level to a low level and from a low level to a high level. Further, a power supply portion 42 outputs a power supply voltage V g having a level between those of the voltages V a1 and V a2 from the drive circuit 41. The drive circuit 41 is a rectangular waveform generating circuit, which is controlled by the control signal POL. When the control signal POL is at a high level, the drive circuit 41 outputs the voltage V a1 at a low level, and when the control signal POL is at a low level, the drive circuit 41 outputs the voltage V a2 at a high level.
  • Thus, in the case of the voltage generating circuit 43, when the polarity of the control signal POL is switched, the drive circuit 41 is disconnected from the output terminal V out and the power supply portion 42 is connected to the output terminal V out . Because of this, a rush (peak) current flowing when the polarity is switched is supplied from the power supply portion 42. In this way, the burden of the drive circuit 41 is alleviated. In addition, the power supply portion 42 generates the power supply voltage V g whose level is between those of the voltages V a1 and v a2 output from the drive circuit 41, whereby the rush current to be output from the drive circuit 41 can also be reduced.
  • Example 28
  • As shown in Figure 47, an operational amplifier OP 1 is used.for the drive circuit 41 of Example 27. Further, in the present example, FETs are used as switches SW 1 and SW 2 . FETs allow an electric current to flow bidirectionally and have a remarkably small ON resistance, so that the FETs are suitable for use as a switching circuit of the present invention. The levels of the control signal DIS and its inverted signal obtained through an inverter INV, which are given at a logic level, can be converted to those suitable for controlling the FETs by a level conversion circuit 44. The level conversion circuit 44 is not required, depending upon the characteristics of FETs to be used.
  • In the above-mentioned structure, an output voltage V a from the operational amplifier OP 1 is disconnected from an output terminal V out of the drive circuit by the switch SW 1 , and then, the output terminal V out is grounded by the switch SW 2 . In the case where the output voltage Va from the operational amplifier OP 1 becomes positive and negative respectively in different polarities of the control signal POL, the output terminal V out is grounded to an electric potential GND instead of being connected to the power supply portion 42 as shown in Figure 45, whereby overall power consumption of the drive circuit can be reduced. The reason for this is as follows:
  • In Example 27, the power supply portion 42 supplies a rush current while the rush current from the drive circuit 41 is reduced. When the output terminal V out is grounded to the electric potential GND instead of being connected to the power supply portion 42, the rush current flowing when the polarity of the control signal POL is switched can be supplied from the ground.
  • In this case, the switches SW 1 and SW 2 are not turned on together; therefore, there is no possibility that the electric current output from the operational amplifier OP 1 flows into the ground through the switches SW 1 and SW 2 .
  • In the present example, a FET is exemplified as a switching circuit. The present example is not limited thereto. Other kinds of switching elements can be used.
  • Example 29
  • In Examples 27 and 28, the switches SW 1 and SW 2 are not turned on together. However, in the case where a switch having a large transient response such as an MOS analog switch is used, a feedthrough current is likely to flow in a transient period from an On state to an OFF state or from an OFF state to an ON state. In this case, if each switch is set to be turned off together for a predetermined period at a timing where the switches SW 1 and SW 2 are turned on/off, the feedthrough current does not flow. The OFF period is set so as to be longer than a switching period (transient period) of the switches SW 1 and SW 2 .
  • In Examples 27 to 29, the common electrode drive circuit is described. However, the same effects as those in these examples can be obtained in the gray-scale voltage generating circuit which directly outputs an externally provided gray-scale voltage or an interpolated voltage formed by the combination of gray-scale voltages. Further, in these examples, the timing per horizontal scanning period in a line inversion drive method is exemplified. The present invention is not limited thereto, and other timings can be used depending upon a driving method to be used.
  • As described above, according to Examples 27 to 29, a rush current flowing when the polarity of the control signal POL is switched is prevented from being compensated by the drive portion itself; thus, the rush current from the drive portion is greatly decreased and a display drive device with a low power consumption can be realized. In addition, the deterioration of a display quality as seen in the conventional example, due to the strain of a voltage waveform caused by the rush current can be prevented. Moreover, unlike the conventional example, a complementary circuit for amplifying an electric current, which is made of a transistor or the like, is not required, thus decreasing the cost. The electric power consumed by transistors as in the conventional example is not required, leading to the reduction of electric power. Since the drive portion consumes a low electric power, that is, the drive portion itself becomes a low power consumption circuit, the circuit can be made smaller than the conventional one, leading to the miniaturization of the substrate of the drive portion, the economy of space, and a thin display device.
  • Various other modifications will be apparent to and can be readily made by those skilled in the art without departing from the scope and spirit of this invention. Accordingly, it is not intended that the scope of the claims appended hereto be limited to the description as set forth herein, but rather that the claims be broadly construed.

Claims (10)

  1. An A.C. voltage generating circuit comprising:
    a first D.C. power supply (Y; OPy) for outputting a first predetermined voltage (Vy) and a second D.C. power supply (Z; OPz) for outputting a second predetermined voltage (Vz) having a different level from the first predetermined voltage;
    means, which comprise switching means (SWy,SWZ,FETy,FETz) for alternately selecting the output voltages supplied from the two D.C. power supplies to output the selected voltage, for outputting an A.C. voltage (Vs) based on the output selected by the switching means; and
    first and second wirings electrically connecting a respective one of the first and second power supplies to the switching means;
    the voltage generating circuit being characterised in that it further comprises first capacitor means (Cy) electrically connected between the first wiring and ground or a third power supply, and second capacitor means (Cz) electrically connected between the second wiring and ground or said third power supply.
  2. An A.C. voltage generating circuit according to claim 1, wherein two kinds of control voltages at predetermined electric potentials are respectively input to the two D.C. power supplies, one of the two D.C. power supplies outputs a voltage equal to a sum of the two kinds of control voltages, and the other of the two D.C. power supplies outputs a voltage equal to a difference between the two kinds of control voltages.
  3. A common electrode drive circuit for a display device in which pixel electrodes are provided on one of two substrates facing each other with a display body sandwiched therebetween and a common electrode provided on the other substrate, wherein each pixel constitutes capacitance between the common electrode and the pixel electrodes, said drive circuit being for driving the common electrode, the common electrode drive circuit comprising an A.C. voltage generating circuit as defined in claim 1.
  4. A common electrode drive circuit according to claim 3, further comprising third and fourth capacitor means electrically connected between the A.C. output of said common electrode drive circuit and a fourth power supply, each of said third and fourth capacitor means being connected to said A.C. output via respective switching means, wherein each of said third and fourth capacitor means is connected to the A.C. output dependent upon whether the other of said third and fourth capacitor means is disconnected from said A.C. output or each of said third and fourth capacitor means is independently connected to the A.C. output wiring.
  5. A common electrode drive circuit according to claim 3, wherein the first and second wirings are connected to each other with a fifth capacitor means therebetween.
  6. A common electrode drive circuit according to claim 3, wherein two kinds of control voltages at predetermined electric potentials are respectively input to the two D.C. power supplies, one of the two D.C. power supplies outputs a voltage equal to a sum of the two kinds of control voltages, and the other of the two D.C. power supplies outputs a voltage equal to a difference between the two kinds of control voltages.
  7. A source driver for a display device in which pixel electrodes and signal lines are provided one of two substrates facing each other with a display body sandwiched therebetween, said driver being for supplying a signal to the pixel electrodes through the signal lines, the source driver comprising at least two voltage supply sources for supplying a voltage to the signal lines, each voltage supply source comprising an A.C. voltage generating circuit as defined in claim 1.
  8. A source driver according to claim 7, further comprising third and fourth capacitor means electrically connected between the A.C. output of each said voltage supply and a fourth power supply, each of said third and fourth capacitor means being connected to said A.C. output via respective switching means, wherein each of said third and fourth capacitor means is connected to the A.C. output dependent upon whether the other of said third and fourth capacitor means is disconnected from said A.C. output or each of said third and fourth capacitor means is independently connected to the A.C. output.
  9. A source driver according to claim 7, wherein the first and second wirings are connected to each other with a fifth capacitor means therebetween.
  10. A source driver according to claim 7, wherein two kinds of control voltages at predetermined electric potentials are respectively input to the two D.C. power supplies, one of the two D.C. power supplies outputs a voltage equal to a sum of the two kinds of control voltages, and the other of the two D.C. power supplies outputs a voltage equal to a difference between the two kinds of control voltages.
EP94300941A 1993-02-09 1994-02-09 Voltage generating circuit, and common electrode drive circuit, signal line drive circuit and gray-scale voltage generating circuit for display devices Expired - Lifetime EP0611144B1 (en)

Priority Applications (21)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
JP21532/93 1993-02-09
JP21533/93 1993-02-09
JP2153293 1993-02-09
JP2153393 1993-02-09
JP5021532A JPH06237162A (en) 1993-02-09 1993-02-09 Voltage output circuit and common electrode drive circuit for display device and signal wire drive circuit for the display device
JP5021533A JP3029940B2 (en) 1993-02-09 1993-02-09 Gray-scale voltage generating device and the signal line driver circuit of a display device
JP16812093A JP2653625B2 (en) 1993-07-07 1993-07-07 The drive circuit of the display device
JP168120/93 1993-07-07
JP16812093 1993-07-07
JP19641793 1993-08-06
JP19641793A JP2965822B2 (en) 1993-08-06 1993-08-06 Power circuit
JP196417/93 1993-08-06
JP5198635A JP2909357B2 (en) 1993-08-10 1993-08-10 Power circuit
JP19863593 1993-08-10
JP198635/93 1993-08-10
JP05265120A JP3121714B2 (en) 1993-10-22 1993-10-22 Gray-scale voltage generating circuit of the common electrode driving circuit and a display device of the voltage output circuit and the display device
JP26512093 1993-10-22
JP265120/93 1993-10-22
JP282580/93 1993-11-11
JP28258093 1993-11-11
JP28258093A JP2849034B2 (en) 1993-11-11 1993-11-11 Display driver

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US6509895B2 (en) 2003-01-21
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KR0140041B1 (en) 1998-06-15
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